Sweden freezes aid to Rwanda following UN report

Foreign aid minister Gunilla Carlsson said on Wednesday that Sweden is stopping aid to Rwanda for 2008 after the UN found evidence the country was supporting armed rebels in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Sweden freezes aid to Rwanda following UN report

“Sweden is taking the UN report very seriously and has stopped the payment of budget support to Rwanda,” Carlsson said in a statement.

A recent report by the United Nations’ Security Council the Group of Experts found that authorities from Rwanda and the DRC have been supporting opposing rebel groups fighting in eastern DRC.

In addition, the report indicates that Rwanda is involved in recruiting soldiers, including children, to the National Congress in Defence of the People (CNDP) rebel group, as well as providing the group with equipment and officers from the Rwandan military.

As a result of the report’s findings, Sweden has decided not to follow through on a planned payment of 80 million kronor ($1 million) to Rwanda.

However, Carlsson added that she hoped to engage in “a constructive dialogue” with Rwanda about working together to find a peace solution to the conflict in eastern Congo.

“While I am concerned about the report, I am mindful of Sweden’s long-standing relations with Rwanda,” she said.

Sweden currently gives Rwanda around 140 million kronor annually, half of which goes to support the country’s budget, with the rest devoted to support for human rights, human rights, democratic governance and research cooperation, as well as support for the creation of the national police force.