Your £21m of aid could be withheld, Cameron tells Rwanda


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Indy Politics

David Cameron challenged Rwanda’s President to prove his country had no links to murderous militias as the Government prepares to cancel plans to give more financial aid to the central African nation.

He broke off from European Union talks in Brussels to warn President Paul Kagame in a telephone call that Britain could not ignore evidence of Rwanda helping the rebel M23 movement in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

His intervention came after a United Nations report charged Rwanda, as well as Uganda, with supporting the M23, which has been accused of rape and butchery as it captured the city of Goma in eastern DRC.

Justine Greening, the International Development Sec-retary, has to decide by the end of next month whether to approve a further £21m of aid to Rwanda by the end of next month. A series of signals from Whitehall suggests she will withhold the cash.

An earlier £16m tranche of  “general budget support” for the Kagame government was signed off by her predecessor, Andrew Mitchell, on his last day in office in September.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister urged President Kagame to do everything he could to put pressure on the M23 to withdraw from Goma. He made clear the international community could not ignore evidence of Rwandan involvement with the M23 and that President Kagame needed to show the government of Rwanda had no links to the M23.”

Ms Greening and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said in a joint statement following the UN report’s publication: “We judge the overall body of evidence of Rwandan involvement with M23… to be credible and compelling.”