Britain restarts aid to Rwanda
Britain is to unfreeze about half of its aid to Rwanda after the central African state made constructive efforts to solve a conflict in neighbouring Congo.
However, Congolese officials yesterday criticised the move, saying Rwanda had fuelled the bloodshed in its much larger neighbour.
Britain and other donors, including the United States, Sweden and the Netherlands, suspended support to Rwanda – which relies on foreign aid for half its budget – after a United Nations report in June accused officials in Kigali of backing rebels fighting in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo.
A spokesman for Congo’s government said Britain’s decision was “totally disastrous”. Kigali has repeatedly denied the allegations that it backs rebels in Congo and accused the authors of the UN report of bias.
Andrew Mitchell, the outgoing UK international development minister, praised the government of president Paul Kagame for “constructively” engaging in efforts to resolve the crisis, which has displaced 220,000 people since April and undone three years of relatively improved relations between Congo and Rwanda.
Mr Mitchell said the decision to release about $12 million of the $25m in blocked aid reflected continued concerns about Kigali’s alleged backing for the rebels.
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