Britain is under mounting international pressure to stop all aid to the Rwandan government.
The Telegraph, By Jason Lewis, October 6
The United Nations and the European Union wants the UK to withhold millions of pounds it is due to hand to President Paul Kagame’s government as part of an international campaign to choke his regime of funds.
Rwanda is accused of arming rebels responsible for atrocities, including mass rape, in the neighbouring Democrat Republic of Congo.
They hope that Britain will fall in line after David Cameron replaced Andrew Mitchell as international development secretary in his Cabinet reshuffle last month.
Britain initially agreed to go along with international condemnation of Rwandan involvement and to cancel £83 million it gives it in aid each year.
But Mr Mitchell’s last act in the job, before he was moved to the role of Chief Whip, had been to restore about £8m aid to the regime, with another £8m to follow later this year, apparently against the advice of officials in his department and from the Foreign Office.
Britain accused of ‘disastrous signal’ by resuming over Rwanda aid
Britain was accused of sending a “disastrous signal” on Wednesday after London resumed aid for Rwanda’s government, despite claims that President Paul Kagame has sponsored a rebel movement guilty of displacing almost half a million people.
The Telegraph, By David Blair & Mike Pflanz, September 5
A United Nations investigation found that Rwanda gave weapons, training and recruits to the “M23” insurgents in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, whose leader, Bosco Ntaganda, has been indicted for alleged war crimes.
Britain, a long-standing ally of Mr Kagame and Rwanda’s biggest bilateral donor, responded on July 27 by “delaying” £16 million of aid. Andrew Mitchell, the outgoing International Development Secretary, used his last day in office to restore this funding, with half the money being released straight into Rwandan government coffers, and half tied to education and agriculture.
The M23 mutiny has swept across eastern Congo, forcing 470,000 people to flee their homes and inflicting more suffering on a blighted country. Mr Mitchell said his decision had been justified by an improved situation on the ground.
“Rwanda has engaged constructively with the peace process initiated through International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and there is a continuing ceasefire,” he said. In the light of this “progress”, British aid would resume after a delay that lasted for 39 days.