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Tuesday 2 September  
Rwanda President Paul Kagame attends the inauguration of the high-rise African U
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Kigali, Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda minister to the West: stop treating us like children

Published on : 29 July 2012 - 10:10am | By RNW Africa Desk (Photo : AFP)
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Western governments were accused by Rwanda's foreign minister on Saturday of using aid to treat African states like children. The minister's comments came after two countries cut cash to Kigali because of its policy in Congo.

The United States has blocked $200,000 (162,350 euros) in military aid to the central African nation and the Netherlands suspended 5 million euros of aid after a United Nations interim report said Rwanda was backing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The report, hotly contested by Rwanda, said the country was supporting armed groups in neighbouring eastern Congo, including the M23 group, which has seized parts of North Kivu province in fighting that has displaced over 260,000 people since April.

"This child-to-parent relationship has to end ... there has to be a minimum respect," Louise Mushikiwabo said in an address to a Kenyan business club called Mindspeak.

"As long as countries wave chequebooks over our heads, we can never be equal."

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She added that Africans had to work hard to develop their economies in order to stop relying on western donors.

Rwanda, which has been striving to rebuild its economy after more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in a 1994 genocide, relies on donors to fund 50 percent of its annual budget, Mushikiwabo said.

Its ties with its much larger neighbour Congo have been thawing since 2009, following years of conflict in which Rwandan troops crossed the border in pursuit of remnants of the Hutu militias that carried out the genocide.

Mushikiwabo said it was too early to tell what kind of damage the withholding of aid would do to the government's economic development push.

"We have been in much worse situations than dollars being withheld from us," she said.

Congo "Mess"
The foreign minister accused the international community of using Rwanda as a scapegoat for the chaos in eastern Congo.

"Do not draw Rwanda into this mess. It is not our business," she said.

The U.N. report said Kigali had supplied ammunition and communication equipment to the rebels, some of whom are Congolese of Rwandan descent. Rwanda denies the accusations.

Mushikiwabo said the type of ammunition alluded to in the report no longer existed in Rwanda, under regional small arms-reduction programmes.

The radio communications gear cited by the report were also not being used by modern armies like Rwanda, proving they could not have supplied it to the Congolese rebels, she said.

Details of a neutral force to eliminate armed groups from eastern Congo, agreed on by the regional group of Great Lakes states that includes Rwanda and Congo, would be discussed by a meeting of the organisation's ministers of defence and security chiefs in Khartoum over the next three days, Mushikiwabo said.

Source: Reuters

Discussion

Anonymous 3 August 2012 - 2:00am / danmark

Lying is imoral. People would understand and have pity and mercy for you when accused the first time. The second time they will think you are unlucky. The third time a few may use their mind, read and try to understand the whole story. the forth and 5th time the may get the true version and you may not enjoy their kindness or pity. Stop lying and appearing like a offer. You may survive the donors decision because you steal more from Congo. The 94-genocideflag u like to wear is sad. u can still use it, but it may fade one day. you are wellprotected by people, the US. people change. u should change. Congolese are passive and peace lovers, Congolese people may change.Just like Tutsi once changed and started a war in Rwanda before the genocide the suffered latter on in the same country.May God prevent this. Congo is a mess, yes. Since 1996 with the banyamulenge rebellion? The allegation on Rwandas participation can be also be denied. Every thing can be denied. You may be trained in lying and denying. Avoid aging and dying as a lier.

Tshimanga 30 July 2012 - 9:57am / DRC

The U.N. report said Kigali had supplied ammunition and communication equipment to the rebels, some of whom are Congolese of Rwandan descent.

Not to mention Rwandans of Rwandan descent.

Mushikiwabo said the type of ammunition alluded to in the report no longer existed in Rwanda, under regional small arms-reduction programmes.

Perhaps not now after they've all been shipped to the Kivus.

For years the Congolese have pleaded that the solution the fighting in the East was to have the UN protect the border from Rwanda rather than protect the Rwandan border from the Congo. But the World has treated Rwanda with kidd gloves because of the genocide. Now that it has officially become a dictatorship, no other way really to describe the last elections, those gloves are finally starting to come off. Maybe the rose tinted glasses will too.If the minister doesn't want to be treated like a child stop behaving like one and a bully at that.

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