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UK stops £21 million aid payment to Rwanda

The UK has stopped £21 million in aid to Rwanda following allegations that the country has been financing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congo m23 rebels rwanda uganda unEnlarge
M23 rebels walk through the jungle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's restive North Kivu province on July 28, 2012. (Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

The UK has stopped £21 million in aid to Rwanda following allegations that the country has been financing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

An aid payment of £16 million was given to Rwanda in September despite its alleged support for the M23 militia in Congo, reported BBC News. The government also said it would give another £18 million for immediate humanitarian needs in Congo.

More from GlobalPost: Rwanda commands M23 rebels in neighboring Congo, UN says

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said £21 million, which was supposed to be given to Rwanda next month, would not be released because President Paul Kagame's regime had breached agreements, BBC continued.

Last week, Greening and Foreign Secretary William Hague said a report by the UN expert group into fighting in Congo provided "credible and compelling" evidence of Rwanda's support for the M23 rebels, noted The Guardian. The violence has caused the displacement of almost half a million people in eastern Congo.

"We are committed to finding lasting solutions to the conflict in this region and will work with the governments of Rwanda and DRC to secure a peaceful resolution to the situation in eastern DRC," Greening said in a statement, according to CNN.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told CNN that canceling the aid was "very unfortunate."

"It is based on allegations of faulty reports which we have said for the last six months are wrong," she said. "Aid shouldn't be used for political purposes. Peace in the DRC does not depend on Rwanda. We find this measure to be counterproductive."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/121130/uk-stops-21-million-aid-payment-rwanda