Kathleen Ferrier, CDA Christian Democrat member of Dutch parliament, at an anti-tuberculosis campaign rally at the Malieveld park, The Hague, Netherlands, on March 23, 2010. She was instrumental in suspending direct budget aid to Rwanda in 2008. Photo by: pietplaat / CC BY-NC pietplaatCC BY-NC

The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the biggest party in the Dutch parliament’s lower house, is pushing for cuts to direct budget support for Rwanda.

A United Nations report implicates Rwanda in genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“I can’t support the things that are happening in Rwanda right now. We support the development of a professional justice system in Rwanda but, at the same time, opposition leader Victoire Ingabire is locked up,” said Klaas Dijkhoff, spokesperson on development aid of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.

Kathleen Ferrier, a CDA Christian Democrat member of parliament, agrees with Dijkhoff’s stance.

“I don’t see any immediate reason to resume our funding to the Rwandan budget,” she explains. “I still have loads of questions, but I am willing to be convinced by the foreign minister.”

Ferrier was instrumental in suspending direct budget aid to Rwanda in 2008.

Immaculee Uwanyiligira, Rwandan ambassador to the Netherlands, said: “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.”

The Netherlands, which has a proposed aid budget of euro44 million (USD60 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, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.