KIGALI Feb 1 Germany said on Friday it will
unblock 7 million euros in frozen aid to Rwanda, which the U.N.
accuses of helping arm rebels in neighbouring Congo, but warned
the African state will be under continued international pressure
over its links with M23 rebels.
Germany joined the United States and several other European
states in partially suspending aid to Rwanda after U.N. experts
said senior Rwandan military officials have equipped, trained
and directly commanded M23 rebels who in November briefly seized
the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda, which relies on donors for about 40 percent of its
budget, has repeatedly denied the charges.
A spokesman for the German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development said by telephone from Berlin
Germany had decided to unfreeze around 7 million euros in aid
because Rwanda was taking steps "in the right direction" on the
The M23 rebels announced a unilateral ceasefire last month
and the group is currently engaged in peace talks with the
Congolese government in neighbouring Uganda.
"We recognise the steps that Rwanda is taking and these
steps are going in the right direction but things are not
getting back to normality yet - we still need to discuss issues
and we will continue to put pressure on Rwanda," the spokesman
Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo and German
Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Dirk Niebel met in
Berlin on Thursday and agreed to use the unfrozen aid for
economic development and vocational training rather than direct
budget support, Mushikiwabo said.
Rwanda is "delighted this support is back on track,"
Mushikiwabo said in an email on Friday.
Rwanda has been badly hit by the aid suspensions. Finance
Minister John Rwangombwa said in December that the country might
have to cut its 2013 economic growth forecast down to 6 percent
from 7.6 percent if the aid remained suspended.
(Additional reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Drazen
Jorgic and Sonya Hepinstall)