By Edison Akugizibwe 3 hours 16 minutes ago
Rwanda government has slammed United States for withholding military aid, saying the decision was based on “totally flawed “information, Chimp Corps report.
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo said Sunday the United States or any other donor nation is entitled to dispense or withhold support and will do so according to its own political and policy imperatives.
Minister Mushikiwabo was responding to media reports that the US had decided against proceeding with $200,000 in military aid to the RDF in light of recent accusations of Rwandan involvement in the eastern DRC.
“While we respect the rights of any development partner, at the same time we must make clear to our friends in Washington and elsewhere that this decision is based on bad information, and is wrong on the facts. As we have made clear from the outset, Rwanda is neither the cause nor the enabler of instability in the eastern DRC."
Minister Mushikiwabo pointed out that Rwandan officials are meeting with the UN Group of Experts in Kigali next week to discuss the Group’s interim findings on the current eastern DRC conflict as outlined in a recent report to the UN Security Council.
“We will go through each allegation contained in the interim report and debunk them line by line. We will present our rebuttal to our development partners, including the United States,” she warned.
“In the meantime, we will focus on the Joint Verification Mechanism with the DRC and will work with regional partners to implement a new border patrol initiative. Peace in the eastern DRC is the outcome desired by all parties, none more so than Rwanda.”
President Paul Kagame has vehemently denied Kigali supported M23 rebels whose mutiny sparked another era of instability in Congo, leaving hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to Uganda and Rwanda.
He argues that MONUSCO is entirely to blame for the crisis that has rocked DRC.
US CUTS AID
In light of information that Rwanda is supporting armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Department of State decided it could no longer provide Foreign Military Financing (FMF) appropriated in the current fiscal year to Rwanda, considering a restriction imposed by the 2012 appropriation act.
“As a result, we will not obligate $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2012 FMF funds that were intended to support a Rwandan academy for non-commissioned officers. These funds will be reallocated for programming in another country,” State Department Bureau of African Affairs Spokesperson Hilary Fuller Renner said recently.
“We will continue to provide assistance to Rwanda to enhance its capacity to support peacekeeping missions. The Department continues to assess whether other steps should be taken in response to Rwanda’s actions with respect to the DRC.”
Fuller further stated that United States government is deeply concerned about the evidence that Rwanda is implicated in the provision of support to Congolese rebel groups, including M23.
“The United States has been actively engaged at the highest levels to urge Rwanda to halt and prevent the provision of such support, which threatens to undermine stability in the region,” said Fuller.
“Restraint, dialogue, and respect for each other’s sovereignty offer the best opportunity for Rwanda and the DRC, with the support of their partners, to resume the difficult work of bringing peace and security to the broader region,” he added.
“We are encouraged by the ongoing high-level dialogue among the states of the Great Lakes region, and we join the Security Council in taking note with interest of the communiqué issued by the eleven member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on July 12,” added Fuller.
He said developing a disciplined and unified army as part of a comprehensive security sector reform process remains critical to the stabilization of the DRC.