Rwanda Protests US Military Aid Ban

October 5, 2013 11:11 am0 comments by:

m23 rablKigali-Rwanda has protested a move taken by the United States of America to block it from accessing military aid.
The protest stems from a move taken on Thursday by the United States to block military assistance to five countries, including three in Africa, over their use of child soldiers in armed conflicts, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
According to the US State Department the sanctions affect Central African Republic, Rwanda, Sudan, Burma and Syria.
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield was quoted by the Voice of America-VOA saying that their goal is to work with the countries that have been involved in recruitment of child soldiers to ensure that they stop.
According to a report on VOA, by law, the U.S. State Department must keep track of nations whose governments recruit and use children as soldiers as part of its annual report on human trafficking.
The 10 countries affected by Thursday’s actions were all cited in the State Department’s latest findings, issued in June.
Those countries can then be denied some types of U.S. funds for military assistance unless the White House grants a waiver. The 2008 law also allows U.S. officials to block licenses needed for those nations to buy military equipment.
But a statement issued yesterday, by Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita the Spokesperson of Defence Forces (RDF) Spokesperson, Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita says that Rwanda cannot be held culpable for matters that happen outside its territory.
Brig. Nzabamwita says in the statement accessed by the Continent Observer that it is surprising that Rwanda would be liable for matters that are neither on its territory nor in its practices.
Nzabamwita claimed in the statement that the United States which is a long term partner of the Rwanda Defence Force has ample evidence that their forces have never tolerated the use of children in combat.”
Rwanda has in the past been accused by right groups of allegedly recruiting child soldiers to fight alongside the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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