30 November 2012

Rwanda Saddened By UK Decision Freeze Aid

Photo: WFP/Marcus Prior
Receiving aid (file photo).

The United Kingdom (UK) government has once again decided to freeze aid to Rwanda basing on allegations contained in the UN Group of Experts on the DRC dispute, a decision that Kigali government has called, "unfortunate and undermining to the pursuit of peace in the region." Rwanda's Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo remarked today 30th November 2012.

Expressing the disappointment at the UK government's decision, Rwanda's foreign Minister said the UN report contains allegations that are false and that continuing with same falsehood does not make it a fact. "The repetition of false accusations does not make them true" Mushikiwabo asserted.

According to the Minister, DRC had and still have complex governance and security challenges that have troubled the area for many years, a reason why blaming Rwanda without first concentrate on the root of the matter might suit short term political ends while it ultimately hinders the whole understanding of the affliction; pushing away an effective solution that would be permanent in the region.

"False, politically-motivated allegations against Rwanda serve the purposes of those who would rather ignore their responsibilities and not face up to the complex governance and security challenges that have afflicted the DRC over many decades" the Minister Argued

On the contrary to what the UK government has decided, Minister Mushikiwabo said that Rwanda would continue to be part of the solution within the ICGLR; adding that "The bottom line for Rwanda is stability in Eastern DRC and in the region"

Kigali government has also reminded the International community and Britain in particular that Rwanda will not be discouraged by UK's inconsiderate decision but will continue the work started with member states in the Great Lakes Region hoping that the international community will support the process and contribute positively. "The bottom line for Rwanda is stability in Eastern DRC and in the region - this is what is important for us." Mushikiwabo stressed.

Rwanda's foreign minister furthered saying that the action by the UK harms Rwanda while it does not do anything that helps combat the situation in the Democratic republic of Congo.

"Leveraging aid and development funds to punish or reward the perceived conduct of recipients, or to placate domestic critics, is contrary to the partnership philosophy that has helped make the collaboration between Rwanda and the UK among the most successful of its kind."

This becomes the second time that Britain withholds its aid to Rwanda, after it did the same in July 2012 when it withheld £16m but the money was restored by Andrew Mitchell the predecessor of the international development secretary Justine Greening. On this Friday 30th November 2012, UK's international development secretary Justine Greening has again announced that £21m of budget support - money that goes directly to the Kigali government - due to be handed over next month will not now be released.

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