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Former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell. He is under fire for signing off £16m in aid on his last day in the job - despite concerns about Rwanda's alleged backing for violent militias in DR Congo.
Posted Tuesday, November 13 2012 at 17:02
The UK will reflect "very carefully" before giving more financial aid to Rwanda, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has said.
Her predecessor Andrew Mitchell is under fire for signing off £16m in aid on his last day in the job - despite concerns about Rwanda's alleged backing for violent militias in DR Congo.
Ms Greening said his decision had been taken in a "sound and robust" way.
But continued support for Rwanda would depend on progress on various issues.
The UK's decision to go ahead with an initial £16m tranche of funding to Rwanda was controversial as the African country's rulers have allegedly funded rebels from the M23 militia group accused of murder and rape in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Other EU nations have withdrawn funds and the UK suspended budget support in July over concerns about Rwanda's alleged behaviour.
But Mr Mitchell told MPs last week he had decided to resume aid to the country after two out of three conditions set by the UK - a ceasefire in the Kivus region and an end to practical support from Rwanda to militias - were met.
Ms Greening told the Commons international development committee that she was not going to "second-guess" her predecessor's decision - which was taken on his last day in the department in September.
"I am not going to disagree with Andrew Mitchell. I think it is very difficult for me to agree or disagree with him."
Ms Greening said her predecessor, when he appeared before the committee last week, had set out in "very clear-cut" terms the basis for his decision: "He had clearly been through a very robust process and I think that was absolutely the right thing to do...
"I believe that he did a full, sound and proper job in his role in taking what I think was a very difficult decision".
Mr Mitchell denied he had acted as a "rogue minister" and said the decision to approve the aid had been taken collectively, with the prime minister, foreign secretary and senior civil servants.
'Options on the table'
A decision on whether to approve the rest of the money would be taken next month, Ms Greening told MPs.
It would depend in part, she added, on whether Rwanda was continuing to honour the conditions relating to its neighbour, including playing a constructive part in peace talks and condemning the actions of the militias, which it has yet to do.
Ms Greening said there was a "lull" in fighting at the moment but there was a risk this was only "temporary".
The UK had yet to decide whether evidence linking Rwanda to the militias was accurate - but claims about it were "very disturbing," added the minister.
She said the UK's support for Rwanda had been "very successful" - but President Paul Kagame had to demonstrate his government was living up to the principles of their aid partnership with the UK, based on respect for human rights and a commitment to good governance and poverty reduction.
Other factors would also be considered, she added, including UN reports on the country.
She told the MPs "all options were on the table", ranging from withholding financial aid entirely, asking for further reassurances, or allocating it in a "different form" - potentially by giving it to third-party organisations rather than directly to the government.
At the moment, half of the money is being given directly to education and agriculture projects, with the rest going directly to the government to spend.
"One thing is clear is that I will be prepared to look across the piece at what my options are and will very carefully reflect about progress against partnership principles," she added.
The current coalition government and its Labour predecessor have both had a close relationship with Rwanda.
Like Mr Mitchell, Ms Greening has taken part in Project Umubano, which saw Tory MPs - including several members of the committee quizzing the minister, who declared an interest - help with local business and education projects.
The project, visited by Mr Cameron in 2007, was a key part of the Tory leader's effort to present a more compassionate image.
SUMMARY : THE TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE BRITISH BUDGET SUPPORT AND GEO-STRATEGIC AMBITIONS
United Kingdom's Proxy Wars in Africa: The Case of Rwanda and DR Congo: The Rwandan genocide and 6,000,000 Congolese and Hutu refugees killed are the culminating point of a long UK’s battle to expand their influence to the African Great Lakes Region. UK supported Kagame’s guerrilla war by providing military support and money. The UK refused to intervene in Rwanda during the genocide to allow Kagame to take power by military means that triggered the genocide. Kagame’s fighters and their families were on the Ugandan payroll paid by UK budget support. · 4 Heads of State assassinated in the francophone African Great Lakes Region. · 2,000,000 people died in Hutu and Tutsi genocides in Rwanda, Burundi and RD.Congo. · 600,000 Hutu refugees killed in R.D.Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic and Rep of Congo. · 6,000,000 Congolese dead. · 8,000,000 internal displaced people in Rwanda, Burundi and DR. Congo. · 500,000 permanent Rwandan and Burundian Hutu refugees, and Congolese refugees around the world. · English language expansion to Rwanda to replace the French language. · 20,000 Kagame’s fighters paid salaries from the British Budget Support from 1986 to present. · £500,000 of British taxpayer’s money paid, so far, to Kagame and his cronies through the budget support, SWAPs, Tutsi-dominated parliament, consultancy, British and Tutsi-owned NGOs. · Kagame has paid back the British aid received to invade Rwanda and to strengthen his political power by joining the East African Community together with Burundi, joining the Commonwealth, imposing the English Language to Rwandans to replace the French language; helping the British to establish businesses and to access to jobs in Rwanda, and to exploit minerals in D.R.Congo.
Thousands of Hutu murdered by Kagame inside Rwanda, e.g. Kibeho massacres
Kagame killed 200,000 Hutus from all regions of the country, the elderly and children who were left by their relatives, the disabled were burned alive. Other thousands of people were killed in several camps of displaced persons including Kibeho camp. All these war crimes remain unpunished.The British news reporters were accompanying Kagame’s fighters on day-by-day basis and witnessed these massacres, but they never reported on this.
25,000 Hutu bodies floated down River Akagera into Lake Victoria in Uganda.
The British irrational, extremist, partisan,biased, one-sided media and politicians have disregarded Kagame war crimes e.g. the Kibeho camp massacres, massacres of innocents Hutu refugees in DR. Congo. The British media have been supporting Kagame since he invaded Rwanda by organising the propaganda against the French over the Rwandan genocide, suppressing the truth about the genocide and promoting the impunity of Kagame and his cronies in the African Great Lakes Region. For the British, Rwanda does not need democracy, Rwanda is the African Israel; and Kagame and his guerilla fighters are heroes.The extremist British news reporters including Fergal Keane, Chris Simpson, Chris McGreal, Mark Doyle, etc. continue to hate the Hutus communities and to polarise the Rwandan society.
Kagame political ambitions triggered the genocide.
Kagame’s guerrilla war was aimed at accessing to power at any cost. He rejected all attempts and advice that could stop his military adventures including the cease-fire, political negotiations and cohabitation, and UN peacekeeping interventions. He ignored all warnings that could have helped him to manage the war without tragic consequences. Either you supported Kagame’ s wars and you are now his friend, or you were against his wars and you are his enemy. Therefore, Kagame as the Rwandan strong man now, you have to apologise to him for having been against his war and condemned his war crimes, or accept to be labelled as having been involved in the genocide. All key Kagame’s fighters who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity are the ones who hold key positions in Rwandan army and government for the last 15 years. They continue to be supported and advised by the British including Tony Blair, Andrew Mitchell MP, and the British army senior officials.
Aid that kills: The British Budget Support financed Museveni and Kagame’s wars in Rwanda and DRC.
Genocide propaganda and fabrications are used by the so-called British scholars, news reporters and investigative journalists to promote their CVs and to get income out of the genocide through the selling of their books, providing testimonies against the French, access to consultancy contracts from the UN and Kagame, and participation in conferences and lectures in Rwanda, UK and internationally about genocide. Genocide propaganda has become a lucrative business for Kagame and the British. Anyone who condemned or did not support Kagame’s war is now in jail in Rwanda under the gacaca courts system suuported by British tax payer's money, or his/she is on arrest warrant if he/she managed to flee the Kagame’s regime. Others have fled the country and are still fleeing now. Many others Rwandans are being persecuted in their own country. Kagame is waiting indefinitely for the apologies from other players who warn him or who wanted to help to ensure that political negotiations take place between Kagame and the former government he was fighting against. Britain continues to supply foreign aid to Kagame and his cronies with media reports highlighting economic successes of Rwanda. Such reports are flawed and are aimed at misleading the British public to justify the use of British taxpayers’ money. Kagame and his cronies continue to milk British taxpayers’ money under the British budget support. This started from 1986 through the British budget support to Uganda until now.
Dictator Kagame: No remorse for his unwise actions and ambitions that led to the Rwandan genocide.
No apologies yet to the Rwandan people. The assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana by Kagame was the only gateway for Kagame to access power in Rwanda. The British media, politicians, and the so-called British scholars took the role of obstructing the search for the truth and justice; and of denying this assassination on behalf of General Kagame. General Paul Kagame has been obliging the whole world to apologise for his mistakes and war crimes. The UK’s way to apologise has been pumping massive aid into Rwanda's crony government and parliement; and supporting Kagame though media campaigns.
Fanatical, partisan, suspicious, childish and fawning relations between UK and Kagame
Kagame receives the British massive aid through the budget support, British excessive consultancy, sector wide programmes, the Tutsi-dominated parliament, British and Tutsi-owned NGOs; for political, economic and English language expansion to Rwanda. The British aid to Rwanda is not for all Rwandans. It is for Kagame himself and his Tutsi cronies.