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Last week had some really good news for Rwanda. First, the Agaciro De­velopment Fund contributions hit above Frw 13 billion and the World Economic Forum ranked Rwanda third most competitive economy on the continent, after Mauritius and South Africa.

Also, the UK made a U-turn. Having announced last month that it would block over US$25 million in budget support, the UK has now announced that $12 million will be released in due course.

In a statement released by the British High commission, Andrew Mitchell, the UK’s outgoing international devel­opment minister, said, “in rec­ognizing the progress made by Rwanda to continuously dem­onstrate strong commitment to reducing poverty and improv­ing its financial management, Britain will partially restore its general budget support.”

Rwanda’s financial manage­rial reputation has never been on the spot but rather praised by donors, including Britain, for being ‘model partners’ not only in the region but also on the continent.

In an attempt to clarify this, Mitchell said the decision to release only $12 million of the $25 million in blocked aid re­flects the UK’s continued con­cerns about Kigali’s alleged backing for the M23 rebels.

Ben Llewellyn-Jones, the British High commissioner to Kigali, when asked for a reac­tion referred us to London for a comment.

An official in the foreign af­fairs ministry who offered his opinion off record said, “I think these guys know they are backing the wrong horse and are now tactfully laying strate­gies of joining the winning side but egos are still big.”

“It’s known, the West will never admit fault and even on this matter, I doubt they will despite the evidence,” added the official.

Congo anger

As soon as UK announced its U-turn, Kinshasa declared its anger through Lambert Mende, the government spokesman who has now earned celebrity status for his emotional attacks against Rwanda on interna­tional media.

“We do not share their (UK’s) analysis [of the situation]… This will not help to resolve the problems in the region. We’ll speak to express how ex­tremely dangerous we think their decision is,” Mende said.

Even though the current hullabaloo finally settles, one problem Rwanda will have to continue dealing with is a hos­tile, unreliable and dishonest government in Kinshasa.

Two weeks ago, Raymond Tshibanda, Congo’s Foreign Affairs Minister who met with members of the UN Security Council and the body’s sanc­tions committee, called for sanctions against Rwanda’s Defense Minister James Ka­berebe; chief of defense staff Charles Kayonga; and Gen­eral Jacques Nziza, a mili­tary adviser to President Paul Kagame, accusing them of al­legedly being ‘in constant con­tact’ with M23.


Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo. (file photo)

In the mix of events, Rwanda withdrew more than 300 of its troops operating in the Eastern Congo, who had been fight­ing covert missions alongside Congolese troops, saying ‘the situation on the ground made their continued presence im­possible.’

Speaking during an inter­view with France 24 TV, on Thursday last week, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo advised Kinsha­sa to own and act upon their problems, or they will never end.

“DRC has to drop this ten­dency of playing the victim every time they are confronted with a situation. Nothing is ever their responsibility when­ever there is trouble, they al­ways get someone to blame, if it’s not Rwanda, its Congo-Brazzaville, if not them, it’s the Ugandans or Angolans,” the minister stated.

That about sums it up: the storm is not over for Rwanda until DRC drops the blame game.

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