The New Times (Kigali)

11 December 2012

Rwanda: Civil Society Appeals On Aid Freeze

Photo: Steve Terrill
Receiving aid (file photo).

RWANDA Civil Society Platform has condemned the manner in which development partners are freezing or delaying financial support to Rwanda.

In a statement released by the spokesperson of the platform, Edouard Munyamaliza, the recent decision by Britain to freeze financial aid is hurting the masses.

"It is against the livelihood of the beneficiaries, it's a punishment to the innocent people who have nothing to do with politics," the statement reads in part.

The statement blames the UK government for freezing aid based on a controversial report by a so-called United Nations Group of Experts which accuses Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels fighting the government in Kinshasa.

British International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, last month announced that she was withholding the next tranche of aid totaling 21 million UK Pounds (about Rwf21 billion), which was due for disbursement this month.

"We are wondering why the aid has been stopped on political grounds, yet Rwanda is among top effective users of aid," reads the statement released after a meeting by members of civil society organisations operating in Rwanda, over the weekend.

The platform observed that, the aid freeze will not bring any solution to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but will only delay Rwanda's ambition to achieve development and poverty reduction strategies.

They expressed disappointment at the unfair attempts to undermine and derail Rwanda's progress towards economic and social transformation.

"DRC has the key to its own problems, with the help of African countries in the Great Lakes Region, to a lasting solution to Congo crisis," the statement further reads.

The civil society platform says it supports resolutions by the Presidents of Rwanda, DRC and Uganda, during a recent ICGLR meeting.

The platform appeals to the United Nations and Rwanda's development partners to support the move by the African countries to help resolve DRC problems.

"Respecting democracy, good governance and human rights is the only way that will bring sustainable peace, and the Civil Society Platform appeals to regional countries to help find sustainable peace," says the statement.

The Civil society requested the DRC and UN to find solution to FDLR threats that have put Rwandans and Congolese people's lives at stake.

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InFocus

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Receiving aid (file photo).

The European country has decided to release millions of dollars in aid following its suspension over the United Nations' accusations that Rwanda was backing rebels in DR Congo. Read more »