US senator questions support to Rwanda over human rights, function in Congo


In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Senator Robert Menendez called for a comprehensive review of US policy towards Rwanda.

Menendez said he would begin by placing a hold on several million dollars in support for Rwandan peacekeepers participating in UN missions, according to the letter, which was leaked to media and which his office confirmed was authentic. A hold is a Senate procedure that prevents a motion from reaching the floor for a vote.

Menendez said he feared that US support for the Rwandan military while it is deployed to Congo and backing rebels would send “a troubling signal that the US tacitly approves of such actions.”

Paul Kagame is seen by some as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is only safe for those who toe the line

The M23 rebel group began a major offensive in Congo’s eastern borderlands with Rwanda at the end of March. Congo has accused Rwanda of backing M23, which Kigali denies.

The United States allocated more than $147 million in foreign assistance to Rwanda in 2021, making it Rwanda’s largest bilateral donor.

Menendez also cited what he said were…