Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo has rubbished a story by AFP yesterday, that claimed the European Union is suspending new aid to Rwanda following allegations that the country is backing rebels in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, was quoted yesterday by AFP as saying,
“The EU is not interrupting ongoing projects, which are there to help the poor. But (it) is delaying decisions on additional budget support in the pipeline pending clarification of Rwanda’s role and its constructive engagement in search of solutions.”
According to AFP, the decision follows a report by experts of the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee alleging Rwandan support for M23 rebels, led by renegade Bosco Ntaganda, who launched an uprising in April.
Mushikiwabo used her twitter account to say the AFP story on EU suspending “new aid” to Rwanda is either old news or is designed to mislead. “No such decision has been taken,” she added.
Mann also allegedly said Ashton had told Kigali in talks recently, “that we expect Rwanda to act constructively – in words and actions – for a lasting peace solution in the eastern DRC.”
Early this month, the UK unfroze about £8m ($12.74m) in blocked aid to Rwanda. Andrew Mitchell, UK’s then international development secretary, praised Rwanda for ‘constructively working towards resolving a crisis in the Great Lakes region, where 220,000 people have been displaced since April’.
“Given this progress, and recognizing that the government of Rwanda has continued to demonstrate its strong commitment to reducing poverty and improving its financial management, Britain will partially restore its general budget support to Rwanda,” Mitchell said in a statement to parliament then.
Source: The Rwandan Focus, 26.09.2012