Sweden freezes aid to Rwanda over support to Congolese rebels

Other News Materials 17 December 2008 12:32 (UTC +04:00)

Sweden has decided to freeze aid payments to Rwanda, citing a new United Nations report that alleges that Rwanda has supported Congolese rebels, the government said Wednesday.

Sweden gives Rwanda some 140 million kronor (17 million dollars) a year in aid, including budget support worth some 80 million kronor, reported dpa.

"Sweden views the UN report very seriously and has halted budget support payments," International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson said.

The report filed to the UN Security Council's Sanctions Committee said that Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have supported different rebel groups in eastern DR Congo.

Rwanda was alleged to have recruited soldiers, including children, and also sent officers and units to DR Congo to back the rebel group the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), according to the report compiled by a group of experts formed in 2004.

Stockholm was to carefully monitor developments and aimed to engage in a dialogue with Rwanda to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern DR Congo, Carlsson said.

Swedish development aid to Rwanda is also used to fund human rights and good governance programmes.