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Sweden freezes aid to Rwanda amid M23 Congo rebel controversy

paul kagame 

by Joseph Earnest  August 13, 2012                   


Newscast Media STOCKHOLM—Sweden has become the latest country to freeze aid to Rwanda, due to allegations that the Rwandan government is supporting M23 rebel fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who have caused instability in the region.  According to Deutsche Welle News, Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Eva Sundquist said that Rwanda should "take up its responsibilities for the development of the region." Deutsche Welle reported that Swedish aid to Rwanda amounted to about 215 million kronor (26 million euros, $32.2 million) in 2011.

"We have chosen to hold off with aid to shed light on what is going on in Congo and how they (the Rwandan authorities) are involved," Swedish Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson told Swedish Radio News on Monday, and was also reported by Deutsche Welle.(pop-up)

United States warns about possible charging of Rwanda's Paul Kagame

The United States is another country that recently withheld aid from the embattled African country, and has warned Kagame that he could be charged with war crimes and face prosecution for arming groups that carried out atrocities in Democratic Republic of Congo. The US has previously been a supporter of President Kagame, however, there is a radical shift, and the opposite is now happening.  The UK Guardian explains that the previous support by the US was out of guilt for not doing anything to prevent over 800,000 Rwandese from being massacred in the genocide that happened in 1994. (pop-up)


The United Nations report

The most devastating piece of information about Rwanda's support for the M23 rebels comes from a recently-released report by the United Nations.  The report in part says:

" Since the outset of its current mandate, the Group has gathered evidence of arms embargo and sanctions regime violations committed by the Rwandan Government. These violations consist of the provision of material and financial support to armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the recently established M23, in contravention of paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 1807 (2008). 2 The arms embargo and sanctions regimes violations include the following:

• Direct assistance in the creation of M23 through the transport of weapons and soldiers through Rwandan territory

• Recruitment of Rwandan youth and demobilized ex-combatants as well as Congolese refugees for M23

• Provision of weapons and ammunition to M23

• Mobilization and lobbying of Congolese political and financial leaders for the benefit of M23

• Direct Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) interventions into Congolese territory to reinforce M23

• Support to several other armed groups as well as Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) mutinies in the eastern Congo

• Violation of the assets freeze and travel ban through supporting sanctioned individuals."


Click here to read or download the complete UN investigative report. (pop-up)


Kagame denies any involvement in genocide

Rwanda denied any wrongdoing even before the entire UN report was released, and issued a statement saying rumors circulating about Rwanda's involvement in the eastern DRC are false. Regional leaders plan to meet in four weeks to come up with actionable steps to ensure that fighting stops completely in DR Congo.

Video courtesy France 24


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