EU “firmly committed” to Rwanda cooperation
The European Union office in Kigali has clarified on what it described as the “recent confusion surrounding the EU’s aid to Rwanda” – following a media frenzy reporting the suspension of aid to Kigali.
“The EU is firmly committed to its partnership with Rwanda in working to eradicate poverty in the country,” said Daniel Schaer, Head of the Political Section, in a statement last evening sent to News of Rwanda.
He added: “Rwanda deserves credit as one of the few Least Developed Countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals target by 2015.”
A spokesman of the EU foreign office in Brussels reportedly said on Tuesday that a decision had been made to halt all discussions about the bloc’s future aid program for Rwanda. With minutes of the original news report, Rwanda’s foreign affairs minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, tweeted that the story was misleading because no such decision had been made about suspending all aid talks.
The EU office in Kigali has clarified that “the EU will continue its aid programme to Rwanda, implementing its existing projects designed to help the poor, including budget support”.
Contrary to news reports that all future aid programs would remain on hold, the EU Kigali office says instead that “some new decisions” would be “delayed”. This means that discussions may take place on some aid programs as the two sides work out how to restore full cooperation.
The EU Kigali office said in its statement that it was taking note of the “constructive” role Rwanda is playing in eastern DRC.
“We welcome Rwanda’s active role in the reactivation and extension of the joint verification mechanism of the borders between DRC and Rwanda, which started on 14 September,” said Schaer. “This is a constructive step in building confidence and working towards a lasting peace.”
On DR Congo’s role, the EU wants the Kinshasa government to do more especially with reforms of its security forces. “…, it is important that Kinshasa also deliver further reforms of governance and the security sector,” said Schaer.