UK likely to cancel aid to Rwanda amid claims its rulers were linked to militias accused of rape and murder


Ministers are likely to cancel plans to give more public money to Rwanda amid claims that its rulers were linked to militias accused of rape and murder, Whitehall sources have said.

Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, told MPs she would think “very carefully” before approving more “general budget support”– cash paid direct to the African nation’s government.

Her predecessor, Andrew Mitchell, signed off on the payment of £16m of frozen aid on his last day in the post in September, although he instructed that half should go to specific projects.

Britain had initially suspended its planned £37m “general budget support” in June after a United Nations report said President Paul Kagame’s administration was sponsoring violent rebels in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

His decision was highly controversial, sparking accusations by Labour that Mr Mitchell was motivated by his friendship with President Kagame.

Ms Greening now has to decide whether to approve the payment of a further £21m of aid due at the end of next month.

The signs are growing that she would veto the second handover of cash.

One senior Whitehall source told The Independent: “I suspect she won’t make the payment.”

A second source said: “She is going to have a really detailed, critical look at this.”

Ms Greening told the Commons international development select committee that Mr Mitchell’s decision had been taken in a “sound and robust manner”.

But she added that continuing support for Rwanda would depend on its ability to prove it was not fuelling conflict in the region.

She said reports linking the Kigame government to the DRC militias were “very disturbing” and said her decision on whether to approve aid would partly depend on whether it would condemn atrocities by the militias, which Rwanda has so far failed to do.

Britain and Rwanda have signed a memorandum of understanding committing them to “partnership principles” of working for peace and stability in the region, upholding human rights and combatting poverty.

Ms Greening refused to be drawn on whether she believed Rwanda had lived up to its side of the agreement.

She said: “It is too early conclude whether I feel Rwanda has made progress on our partnership principles in the past month. The partnership principles are very important. It is a challenge for me to look at [Rwanda’s] progress and where there is less progress or indeed no progress

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner

£15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

£11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

£15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life