Cancellation of direct budget support “hysterical” and “very unfair.”-Sen. Inyumba

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By GLV Correspondent and agencies.

Rwandan senator Aloysia Inyumba, who is visiting the Netherlands – calls the criticism and the possible cancellation of direct budget support “hysterical” and “very unfair.”

The Netherlands is accusing Rwanda based on the UN mapping report and arrest of embattled politician Umuhoza Victoire Ingabire.

The Netherlands, which has a proposed aid budget of euro44 million ($60 million) for Rwanda in 2011, has suspended direct aid to the Rwandan government since 2008 due to allegations that the African nation was involved in the violence in DRC.

Joël Voordewind, an MP for the small Dutch Christian Union party, doesn’t understand why The Netherlands is supporting Rwanda.

“Right now we’re supporting the construction of jails by directly funding the Rwandan justice department. As we speak, those jails are being used to lock up political prisoners, and I don’t want us to be responsible for these policies.”

Mr Voordewind is calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to end the direct government support the Netherlands gives to Rwanda, a proposition that is likely to gain broad support during the foreign ministry budget negotiations.

Immaculee Uwanyiligira, the Rwandan ambassador to the Netherlands, is worried about the changing view amongst Dutch officials.

“When Rwanda needed a friend after the 1994 genocide, the Netherlands was there for us,” she explained at a press briefing at the embassy in The Hague. “If the Netherlands had to withdraw its budget support because of belt tightening, we’d understand. But we hope that it doesn’t happen because of Victoire Ingabire, because that is a non-issue.”

Dutch opposition Labor Party MP Sjoera Dikkers is concerned about the outcome of the budget negotiations. “I think canceling aid is a tough decision, because President Kagame is still the man who got Rwanda back on its feet after the genocide.”

According to Ms Dikkers, ethnic Hutus are the source of most of the criticism on the current situation in Rwanda. “It’s the Hutu agenda that I receive most pressure from, and I find it hard to just agree with that.”

On Tuesday, the Dutch parliamentary committee for foreign affairs was due to meet a Rwandan delegation, the ambassador and Senator Inyumba. A final decision on development aid for Rwanda will be made during the foreign affairs budget hearings in mid-December.

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