National

Foreign interests ruin chances for peace in DRC

  • By James Karuhanga
  • December 05, 2012
photo
The Minister of Defence, James Kabarebe (L) with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, at Parliament yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira.

Government officials and legislators Tuesday blamed foreign interests for the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

MPs and ministers Louise Mushikiwabo of foreign affairs, James Kabarebe of Defence and John Rwangombwa of Finance held a consultative session in parliament on the latest DRC crisis, the “false” accusations linking Rwanda to the M23 rebellion, and the impact of the subsequent aid freeze to the country.

Mushikiwabo said that those scrambling for business gains in DRC prefer acrimonious relations between Rwanda and her western neighbour.

“Those who continue to connect the problem of the M23 group with Rwanda are many,” she said, citing European countries, the controversial UN Group of Experts on DRC and Human Rights Watch.

Minister Rwangombwa said that recent decisions by some donors, especially the UK, to suspend aid to Rwanda raise a fundamental question on the rationale for the aid in the first place.

These unilateral decisions are contrary to the Paris Declaration and the bilateral partnership agreements between Rwanda and donors with regard to the funds channelled through the general budget, he said.

“What we have reiterated with different people is that halting aid to Rwanda cannot be a solution to the problem in the DRC. Another issue that I think we should examine is that this issue is probably beyond the Congo problem.”

Rwangombwa told MPs that a remaining Rwf155 billion that might come or might not, from all other donors, “is no cause for alarm at all.”

The country’s budget for this year is Rwf1, 385 billion. According to the minister, the amount that has been delayed is Rwf155 billion, which reflects about 12 per cent of total budget.

“A shortfall of 12 per cent of our budget would really not hamper government development programmes in such a big way,” he said, dismissing as false speculation that government would cut public service salaries or even lay off workers in the wake of frozen aid.

“This is not going to happen,” he said.

The budget for salaries in the 2012/13 budget amount to Rwf204 billion.

 “Domestic funding is Rwf645 billion. This is three times the money we spend on salaries,” the minister noted.

But the aid cuts mean the country will not grow by 7.4 per cent, this year, as previously projected; instead it will grow by 6 per cent.

“This only means that growth will slow a bit because public expenditure has a significant impact on economic growth. This requires us to use our money more efficiently,” Rwangombwa added.

The minister also warned against speculation in the foreign exchange market.

He said: “We have enough time to prepare mitigating factors but what is now very important is that we all understand this issue very well. Rwandans need to understand that there is no cause for alarm.”

Kabarebe said recent attacks by the Congo-based FDLR militia on Rwanda were intended to provoke Rwanda into pursuing them into the Congo so that the country could be accused of invading its neighbour.

“We have no intentions to pursue them beyond our borders, but we are prepared enough to deal with them on our territory,” the Defence minister said.

FDLR, composed of remnants of the army and militia responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, attacked Rwanda twice last week and killed two civilians before crossing back to the Congo, where they have been holed for 18 years.

MP Constance Mukayuhi, the Chairperson of the Chamber of Deputies’ standing committee on Budget and National Patrimony, said efforts must be made to unravel “the international conspiracy” against Rwanda.

Speaker Rose Mukantabana urged the government to continue exercising restraint in the wake of renewed attacks from the Congo-based FDLR militias.

“We are all concerned that an organisation that we all belong to – the UN – continues to uphold and spread fabricated lies against Rwanda.”


Comments

Rwandan leadership, you achieved a lot even without foreign support,you extremely eliminated hatred, nepotism, Ethnicity problems, Dictatorship, colonialism thinking among the society , Genocide perpetrators, you name it. We Rwandans we appreciate. And with our fellow Africans we should think wise and forget relying on colonial ideas that always intends to exploit our natural resources and employ their people through causing conflicts among the neighbors on this continent using the manufactured lies by the so called UN experts who works Under interests of the Europeans and West. I like our Army RDF, you're exemplary through your discipline, integrity and how you deal with the enemy, you love your country. Keep it up they (Foreign countries) just want to weaken you because of jealous of what Rwanda achieved but its impossible, God loves you and Rwanda at large.


12:34:18 Wednesday 05th, December 2012 kigali - mai

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This is insane. If only they would keep their aid, we would learn to develop without it. Their plan is to keep us dependent just like drug addicts. I think it is high time we started recovering from this drug called aid and start exploring ways of how best we can cope with our own challenges without their support. Ni ba Ntamunoza, duterimbere bika ikibazo, twekena nabwo bagasakuza. It's riculous. Why can't they leave us alone?


15:48:24 Wednesday 05th, December 2012 Kigali - Petit

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"Foreign interests ruin chances for peace in DRC" is akin to saying the Pope is Catholic or the rain is wet. Foreign interests always need maximum chaos to get away with murder, literally. Why do you think they did in Lumumba the moment he looked like he was trying to bring some order to his country? The Congolese are sitting on too much wealth the big sharks consider rightfully their own to allow them peace and a functioning state that might demand some accountability from the foreign interests that are exploiting that country's resources for a song? What do you think constructed Brussels, Antwerp and or the other Belgian cities, and how do you think the Belgians aim to avoid becoming the next dominoe in a tottering Euro-edifice without their continued exploitation of Congolese natural resoures? Any regional attempt at putting the DRC on its feet is seen as an existential threat to these interests.


16:21:28 Wednesday 05th, December 2012 jkalinda@gmail.com - Mwene Kalinda

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I sometimes tend to blame our leaders, why cant there be an aggreement between the African leaders to stop the west from exploiting Africa (DRC....)? When will this stop anyway and who will bring it up?Our leaders should wake up and synergise, Africa is where it is because of its leaders. we need to be honest withourselves and face brutal facts!


20:59:42 Wednesday 05th, December 2012 Kigali - Andrew

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No friends only interest theory live in action.Very right, this is a price to pay when a nation is on the sure pathway for adulthood when, one poor nation shows strong and undeniable signs of progress, good governance and economic growth. Rwanda is very closely monitored by the world for many reasons. To learn from us but also to keep the status quo for those so called powerful nations on the giving hand. They are not happy to see that today, as they are experiencing economic and financial troubles. A small nation labeled as not reach at all in the middle of Africa next to the rich yet poor Congo is scoring high on all the index of progress and development.Rwanda stand in the front raw in Africa in attracting investments from around the world and the economical growth of the country is unprecedented and desirable by all for the last decade. These people don’t see it positively and most of all, they hate to see that; Rwanda of all African nations is now an example of leadership, social economic development, and a county that has enough strength diplomatically in the region and in Africa as well as a very stable country safest in the world, boasting of one of the most disciplined and capable army in Africa. Now if you put all this on a scale you would realize that people who intentionally left us to die 18 years ago at the hands of a manipulated government, would not have, in their wildest dreams thought of us being the ones to occupy such a place at the world stage, setting the pace for the development and true liberation of African people from dependence. Most of them are still hoping it is just a nightmare not actually happening until some one say Congo… and the demon in them (economical and political interest) is awaken and, the first thing to blame for their lack of sleep is of course our beloved Rwanda. Have you ever see any one causing chaos over a dead predator? However, they will cry fool over real or fake or imaginary things. This for me means Rwanda is growing and this is a threat to our so-called donors. They love us so much they do not wish to wean us away from the aid feeding. How ironic. No friends only interest ha!ha!ha!Beau


23:13:13 Wednesday 05th, December 2012 Kigali - Beau

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When will people of African descent unite???? The EUROPEANS/ASIANS They ALL NEED Africans KILLING EACH OTHER so THEY can PROFIT


02:54:21 Friday 07th, December 2012 United States - black rage

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Rwandans will survive, they servived the genocide , they will as well survive the western conspiracy


15:12:38 Monday 10th, December 2012 kigali - brown

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