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At UN, Dutch Pol Verhagen Explains Aid Cut to Rwanda but not to Congo, Trusts Kabila or Structure

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, December 18 -- Following the Netherlands' cut-off of aid to Rwanda in response to a UN report of Rwanda's government supporting the rebels of Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Inner City Press on Thursday asked the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen if his country was cutting aid to the DRC as well. The UN report also says that the Congolese Army supports the FDLR Hutu rebels.

  Verhagen told Inner City Press, "I don't think we give much support to Congo," and looked at the aides surrounding him in the hallway outside the UN Security Council. "We didn't suspend all development aid for Rwanda," he continued, only that for budget support. "In Congo we don't do that. With other assistance aid we can see where the money is spent."

  Under the direct budget support model, developing countries are given cash to put into their budget and use as they see fit. Verhagen and his government appear to be implying that the Rwandan government of Paul Kagame would use such aid to support Nkunda, whereas they can better monitor aid to the Congolese government of Joseph Kabila.

  Inner City Press asked, if the Netherlands was giving budget support to the Congo, would this be cut off in light of the UN report? Verhagen said, "That's a hypothetical question," and laughed.  And then he was gone.

Verhagen: reaching out to take back budget support to Rwanda, DRC grab not shown

  Verhagen had appeared, along with France's Rama Yade, to discuss their statement at the UN calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality.  Inner City Press asked Rama Yade to comment on a text read out by Syria, opposing that of France, and to the legal challenge to France's violation of human rights announced this week by Sikhs who say that they requiring them to remove their turbans, their religious rights are being infringed. Rama Yade did not answer the latter. Video here, from Minute 8:58. Minutes later, Verhagen also dodged a question, but with a laugh, calling it hypothetical.

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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