Dutch cut aid to Rwanda over DRC support

July 27, 2012 at 7:57 AM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 27 (UPI) -- Officials in the Netherlands said the country has suspended aid to Rwanda over its alleged backing of a rebel army in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Netherlands said it is withholding an aid budget worth $6.15 million days after the United States announced it is cutting $200,000 in military aid to the country, the BBC reported. Dutch funds were being used to improve the country's judicial system.

A senior U.N. official, whose name was not reported, told the BBC defecting Congolese rebels have confirmed they were recruited in Rwanda, though Rwanda President Paul Kagame has denied involvement.

The official said some of the members of the M23 rebel group are unlike other Congolese, troops indicating they came from elsewhere. They are armed with weapons not used by the Congolese, they speak English, have unusual uniforms and engage in night attacks, he said.

Stephen Rapp, head of the U.S. Office of Global Criminal Justice, said Kagame could face prosecution over alleged involvement, The Guardian reported.

"There is a line that one can cross under international law where you can be held responsible for aiding a group in a way that makes possible their commission of atrocities," he said. "I think you would have a situation where individuals who were aiding them from across the border could be held criminally responsible."

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