Europe, U.S. Step Up Pressure on Rwanda

A growing number of European governments is joining an international diplomatic drive to press President Paul Kagame's government into ending support for rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Germany and Britain have joined the Netherlands in recent days in suspending aid to Rwanda, in response to a recent report by a group of United Nations experts which said Rwanda was instrumental in forming and supporting the M23 rebel group led by indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda.

The German public radio service, Deutsche Welle, reports that on Saturday  Germany suspended planned aid of 21 million euros ($26 million).

It quoted Development Minister Dirk Niebel as saying in Berlin that the allegations in the UN report "have to be fully investigated, and it has to be clear that Rwanda does not support illegal militia in eastern Congo".

He added: "The suspension of aid is an unmistakable signal to the Rwandan government. I expect Rwanda to cooperate fully with the UN expert panel."

On Friday, London's Daily Telegraph reported that Britain's International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, had announced a "delay" in sending a £16 million (U.S. $25 million) payment.

The Telegraph quoted Mitchell as urging Rwanda to "be clear publicly that Bosco Ntaganda, a key M23 figure, is an indicted war criminal who should not be allowed to remain at large as part of any solution to the current conflict".



Europe Suspends Aid to Kagame Govt

Germany and Britain have joined the Netherlands and the United States in recent days in suspending aid to Rwanda.