recipe http://coronaextra.com.au/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/nextgen_xmlrpc/module.nextgen_xmlrpc.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Russell D. Feingold, visit Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, online told journalists via teleconference on Wednesday night that the US decision would also be based on credible evidence that Rwanda no longer backs the rebel Movement.
“The United States has chosen this year to be firm with regard to our concern that there is a credible body of reporting that Rwanda has given support to the M23, at least in the past. Rwanda is a friend and an ally, and we have a lot of admiration for what they’ve accomplished; but any such support for the M23, of course, is inconsistent with our views, with international law, and in particular, Rwanda’s own position as a signatory to the framework,” said Feingold.
“So we have been candid with our friend. We have, in some cases, put sanctions because of a concern – concerns about, for example, the support – the recruitment or assistance in terms of children soldiers for the M23 and involvement of Rwanda in that,” he added.
“If it turns out that Rwanda is no longer involved in such activities, if it turns out that their role here has been a positive one and there is much that they have done during this process to be positive, with President Kagame issuing a statement that he wanted these talks concluded – if that bears out that there is a different approach here than the one we have believed is happening, then we would certainly review whether it’s appropriate to continue these sanctions,” affirmed Feingold.
“They are based specifically on certain actions that we believe occurred, and if those actions cease, there would certainly be a serious review of whether it’s appropriate to continue.”
Rwanda has in the past denied reports of backing the rebels and pledged strong commitment to the peace processes aimed at putting an end to the crisis in Kivu.
Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Spokesperson, Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita, said in a statement following the sanction that his country was surprised it would be liable for matters that are neither on its territory nor in its practices.
“As a long term partner of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), the United States has ample evidence that our forces have never tolerated the use of children in combat,” said Nzabamwita.
President Paul Kagame would later condemn the sanctions, saying RDF is a professional army that does not accommodate children in its ranks.
Rwanda was among five countries which have been facing military aid ban by United States.
Others include Central African Republic, Sudan, Burma and Syria
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said then: “Our goal is to work with countries who have been listed to ensure that any involvement in child soldiers — any involvement in the recruitment of child soldiers — stop”.
“Any support of those rebel groups is seen as contributing to conflict in the region,” Thomas-Greenfield told reporters. U.S. officials will continue to discuss the issue with the Rwandan government.”
The M23 leadership, which agreed to end the rebellion early this week, denied receiving military support from Rwanda, insisting they recovered large caches of arms after taking Goma in April 2012.
Nzabamwita said Rwanda’s “commitment to a sustainable solution that seeks to bring an end to the DRC conflict and its consequences, including the use of child soldiers, remains unchanged.”
He added: “The collaboration between the Government of Rwanda and the United States remains strong particularly in the field of peacekeeping and Rwanda will continue to hold its forces to the highest standards of professionalism and discipline.”