Britain stops aid to Rwanda over DRC role

Nov. 30, 2012 at 10:17 AM

LONDON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Britain suspended financial aid to Rwanda, expressing concerns about the African country's role in the conflict with neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ministers said Britain would not release a $33.6 million payment after paying about $25.1 million in September despite concerns over Rwanda's alleged support of the M23 militia in the DRC, the BBC reported Friday.

The government said it would give another $28.8 million for immediate humanitarian needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said the money, which was to be released to Rwanda next month, would be held back because Rwandan President Paul Kagame's regime had breached agreements.

While his government has been praised for improving economic and social conditions in Rwanda, Kagame has come under fire recently for allegedly funding the M23 militants in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

A U.N. report said Rwanda's defense minister was, in effect, commanding the revolution in DRC.

"The government has already set out its concerns over credible and compelling reports of Rwandan involvement with M23 in DRC," Greening said. "This evidence constitutes a breach of the partnership principles set out in the memorandum of understanding, and as a result I have decided not to release the next payment of budget support to Rwanda."

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