May 24, 2024

Despite Rwanda’s and Uganda’s invasions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 1996 and the ensuing deaths, economic collapse, and cost of UN peacekeeping, Western Governments continue to provide significant military and development aid to Rwanda and Uganda. Since aid accounts for the majority of these countries’ official budgets, donors could have had considerable leverage: the threat of aid withdrawal may have provided Rwanda and Uganda with the incentive to cease military operations in the DRC.

Given the number of reports by the UN, international NGOs, and the press, it is impossible that donor countries were not aware of the activities being conducted by Rwanda and Uganda in the DRC. With the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a strong case can be made that knowingly giving aid to countries that will use it directly or indirectly to wage wars of aggression, would make donors complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Alien Tort Claims Act may provide some remedy in American courts.

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