Kigali: The European Union will delay allocating €70 million (Rwf. 56.35 billion) in aid to Rwanda for up to two months as it reassesses allegations the Rwandan government is supporting the M23 rebel group in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the RNA has learned.
The EU has delayed its decision on the earmarked funding pending clarification of the government’s role in the conflict after a recent United Nations report found Rwanda was complicit in supporting the rebel group which has forced 470,000 people to flee their homes.
Rwanda has denied any involvement with the rebel group.
The delayed funding, is part of €380 million committed over six years by the EU in 2008, said Francesca Mosca, the European Union Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) director for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Forty million of the allocated funding was designated to build feeder roads over the next three years, while the remaining €30 million was assigned to help Rwanda achieve its Millennium Development Goals. Both programs are set to begin early next year.
“We are not taking this money away from Rwanda,” Mosca stressed. “We have delayed the decision on these two particular programs, but they remain in the overall envelope for Rwanda.”
“We are going to reassess to situation, because we do not want the population of Rwanda to suffer.”
According Mosca, despite the announcement, last week, the EU disbursed €47 million in ongoing budget support, because the necessary requirements to receive the money were fulfilled by the government,
“From a development point of view we are satisfied with what we see in the implementation of our programs and that’s why we have released the money.”
She added that the EU would not be able to financially support a monitoring force along the border between the two countries, but the EU will continue to engage all parties involved, including the DRC government to find a lasting solution.
The EU is among Rwanda’s biggest donor and is the latest western partner to impose aid restrictions against Kigali. (End)
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