News24

UK partially restores Rwanda aid

2012-09-06 09:27

London - Britain will partially restore aid to Rwanda, two months after London suspended it over reports that the African nation had backed rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo, the government said.

Outgoing international development minister Andrew Mitchell said Britain would now pay out half of the delayed aid immediately, and reschedule the other half.

In July, Britain joined the United States, the Netherlands and Germany in halting aid to Rwanda after a UN report accused Rwandan officials of backing army mutineers in eastern DRC, who formed a rebel group called M23.

Mitchell said in a statement to parliament on Tuesday that Rwanda had since engaged with internationally-backed peace efforts in the region.

"Given this progress and recognising 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," he said.

But he added that the decision to only partially restore the aid reflected "caution as concerns remain over Rwanda's involvement with the M23 rebels".

The next payment is due in December and a decision "will be made in due course" based on monitoring on Rwanda's role in the conflict, Mitchell said.

Rwanda has strongly denied the allegations that it backs the rebels in DRC. It has in turn accused DRC of backing Rwandan Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who also operate in eastern DRC and oppose the Rwandan regime of President Paul Kagame.