Rwandan aid hinges on DRC, London says

Aug. 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM

LONDON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Rwandan government needs to uphold its obligations regarding conflict in DRC as a precondition to British financial aid, an official suggested.

Rwanda is suspected of supporting the M23 rebel faction in Democratic Republic of Congo, which waged mutiny in April. Rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, who helped plan the mutiny, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

British Development Minister Andrew Mitchell told the BBC that Rwanda had certain obligations given the regional crises.

"We expect the Rwandan government to play a most important role in (regional) discussions ... and we look also, of course, to the Rwandan government to make clear where they stand on the issue of the mutiny, the rebellion which is taking place by the M23 group in the DRC," he said.

The British government in July withheld $25 million in support for Rwanda. Washington cut military assistance to Rwanda citing allegations the government was backing DRC militants.

In July, Stephen Rapp, director of the U.S. Office of Global Criminal Justice, told The Guardian newspaper in London that Rwandan authorities, including President Paul Kagame, could face charges of "aiding and abetting" in crimes against humanity in DRC.

Rwanda has challenged the accusations.

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