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Kinshasa - The Democratic Republic of Congo said Thursday it was disappointed by Britain's decision to partially restore aid to Rwanda after suspending it over reports that Kigali was backing Congolese rebels.
Britain announced Wednesday that it would restore half the £16
million ($25 million, 20 million euros) in aid it suspended two months ago after a United Nations report accused Rwanda of backing the M23, a rebel group formed by army mutineers in eastern DR Congo.
Kinshasa is “disappointed by Britain's decision... to reverse the sanction it had previously imposed on Rwanda by disbursing half its budget support to this aggressor country,” DR Congo government spokesman Lambert Mende said in a statement.
“It unfortunately sounds like a prize for the military adventurism, culture of predation and massive human rights violations for which Rwandan officials at the highest level are responsible,” the statement added.
Rwanda has strongly denied the allegations by UN experts that it supplied arms and recruits to the M23, whose members are former fighters in an ethnic Tutsi rebel group integrated into the Congolese army under a 2009 peace deal.
Kigali has in turn accused Kinshasa of backing the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Rwandan Hutu rebels who also operate in eastern DR Congo and oppose Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Britain's outgoing international development minister, Andrew Mitchell, said London had decided to restore aid because Rwanda engaged with internationally backed peace efforts in the region since Britain, the United States, the Netherlands and Germany halted aid in July.
But DR Congo said it was “shocked” by the decision and that Rwanda had not made “any credible effort... to restore peace and security”.
The British aid is earmarked for education and food security. Payment of the remaining £8 million will be rescheduled, Mitchell said. - Sapa-AFP