Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

30 November 2012

Rwanda: Cutting Aid Harms Rwanda and Does Not Help DRC - Mushikiwabo

The UK is withholding a U.S.$34 million aid payment to Rwanda over allegations it's behind the current violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. ( Resource: UK Withholds Aid Payment to Rwanda

Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo has expressed disappointment at the decision by the UK government to withhold the next payment of £21 million of general budget support, which had been due in December, saying that it harms Rwanda and does nothing to help address the Eastern DRC security crisis.

Minister Mushikiwabo pointed out that the repetition of false accusations does not make them true. "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," she said. "Blaming Rwanda might suit short term political ends but ultimately it hinders understanding of the conflict and puts an effective and lasting solution further out of reach."

She also pointed out that the decision goes against the spirit of the partnership between the two countries. "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 action harms Rwanda and does nothing to help the DRC," Mushikiwabo remarked.

However, via her twitter account, Minister Mushikiwabo stated that Rwanda would continue to be part of the solution within the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). "Rwanda continues to be part of peace process started by ICGLR and hope that the international community supports it and contributes constructively."

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