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The Untold Stories: Does Foreign Aid to Rwanda, Fuel Congo Violence?

By: Jacquline Umurungi, Brussels       

Conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo have taken the lives of 5.4 million people since 1998 and continue to leave as many as 45,000 dead every month, according to a major International Rescue Committee study. The liberal democrat MP in UK representing Portsmouth South with his colleagues has argued that the UK taxpayer’s money should not be used by the Rwandan government to fuel the conflict in Congo.

The UK is Rwanda’s biggest direct aid donor, giving £83m a year. Indeed a total of about 297.9 Billion Rwandan Francs is expected in the form of aid to help the government balance out its financial demands as outlined in the recently-released National Annual Budget.  Indeed these remarks were echoed by the UK former Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells in 20011 when the Rwandan government was accused of sending death threats to its political opponents living in UK.

The UK former foreign Minister Kim Howells argued that the Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s government is becoming more autocratic. The above Minister was reacting on the network of spies that the government of Rwanda sent to UK to either harass or kill Rwandan dissents perceived by the Kigali regime to be political opponents. The former Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells, who was head of the Intelligence and Security Committee at the time, says President Kagame regime is becoming increasingly repressive and the UK taxpayer’s money should go for the good cause.

He further argued that death threats are a series of events that raise a question mark over Britain’s continued support: “If there’s any hint at all that these people are threatening people whether they’re British citizens or residents, then we must say to them ‘I’m sorry this aid is going to be cut off immediately’, and that’s a threat they certainly could not afford to ignore.

Kagame spiting fire

Despite continued denials by the Kigali Regime on the involvement in Congo conflict , Kagame is behaving like a neighbor setting a neighbor’s house on fire and calls a fire a brigade, so is the man Kagame in the Congo conflict   “Congo’s problems should stop being Rwanda’s problems, Kagame”. In his monthly press conference President Kagame argued that the Congolese should assume the responsibility of governing their own country and deal with their problems.

The president further argues that despite the huge sums of money the MONUSCO uses, it has failed to deliver to its expectations “These Monusco (the UN force allegedly in the Congo to keep the peace) people have been there for several years, but what have they achieved? Nothing! They spend 1.2 billion (US) dollars on them per year, but going by the facts on the ground, I wouldn’t spend a single dollar on Monusco!”

Does this give the Rwandan President open cheque to invade Congo?

As the Rwanda government under the leadership of Kagame is singled out by the UN briefing for supporting the indicted war criminal General Bosco Ntaganda with his M23, President Kagame is not only fueling the Congo violence but also committing the international crime of aggression.

However ,President Kagame as usual he is now playing hide and seek by counter accusing the UN and its troops in Congo for not only failing to protect the Congolese people but also supporting the FDLR. Surprisingly most of the former senior commanders of FDLR are now recruited and integrated in the Rwandan government and Military without being prosecuted for what the Kagame accuses them. It is therefore very imperative for the international donors to revise their aid to Rwanda and stand firm and tell President Kagame that enough is enough; otherwise they will be accomplice in the continued suffering of the Congolese people.


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