DRC relieved by cut to Rwanda aid

July 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM
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KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 23 (UPI) -- While disruption of U.S. military aid to Rwanda sends a strong signal, it shouldn't come at the detriment to regional affairs, a DRC official said.

Washington cut military assistance to Rwanda citing allegations the government was backing militants in the Democratic Republic of Congo that waged mutiny early this year.

DRC Information Minister Lambert Mende was quoted by Voice of America as saying the decision to cut military aid to Rwanda was a good move.

"We think that this is a very positive signal to have Rwanda cooperate with the pacification of this region that has suffered a lot," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had called on DRC and Rwandan leaders to work to find a solution to a crisis brewing since April. Rwanda denies the allegations it was supporting rebels fighting in DRC.

The minister, however, said that while it was wise to make an effort to disrupt militant activity in his country, Rwanda shouldn't be overly penalized for regional conflict.

"For us, the problem is not to make Rwanda disappear," he said. "Though we are having some criminal networks there, we have to live together."

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