IN THE SAME TIME…USA WANT TO STOP HIS MILITARY AID WITH DRC AND Explosive EU auditors report on failings of aid for DRC BECAUSE OF CORRUPTION AND FRAUD/ HRW-BBC
IN THE SAME TIME…USA ANNONCE TO STOP HIS MILITARY AID WITH DRC AND Explosive EU auditors report on failings of aid for DRC BECAUSE OF CORRUPTION AND FRAUD
US will withhold military aid from DRC, Rwanda, CAR and Somalia because of recruitment and use of child soldiers
The US government announced today it will withhold military assistance from four countries – the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and Rwanda – because of their recruitment and use of child soldiers. This is a big improvement from previous years when the Obama administration routinely allowed governments to receive US military assistance even while they had child soldiers in their forces.
In 2008, Congress adopted the Child Soldiers Prevention Act to prevent governments using child soldiers from benefiting from US military training and assistance. The law provides the US with powerful leverage to pressure military allies to end the practice. But the Obama administration has waived these sanctions far more often than not, giving governments little incentive to take the issue seriously.
Last year we saw how the law could really work. The Obama administration announced it would withhold foreign military financing and training from a Congolese battalion until Congo signed an agreement with the United Nations to end its use of child soldiers. The Congo had been dragging its feet on signing the plan for seven years, but signed the plan only five days after the US announcement.
This year, the administration will withhold at least some assistance from four countries, not just one. This will put real pressure on these countries to take some serious steps to end their use of child soldiers.
But some countries are still getting off too easy. Despite almost no effort to end its use of child soldiers, Yemen will receive more than $20 million in foreign military financing with no strings attached. South Sudan and Chad are also receiving full waivers. They have made progress, but it’s not enough.
The Obama administration’s attention to child soldiers is welcome, but there’s still more it can do to bring an end to this horrible practice.
Explosive EU auditors report on failings of aid for DRC
1 October 2013 Last updated at 16:29 GMT
DR Congo: Auditors criticise EU’s aid
Many EU projects aimed at building justice and good governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo are failing to deliver results, European auditors say.
The EU « needs to improve significantly its aid effectiveness » in DR Congo, the European Court of Auditors says.
Their audit covered the years 2003-2011, when the EU granted about 1.9bn euros (£1.6bn; $2.6bn) to DR Congo.
The vast mineral-rich nation is plagued by poverty, corruption and conflict.
Congolese and UN troops are currently fighting M23 rebels near the eastern city of Goma.
For decades the authorities in the capital Kinshasa have struggled to quell insurgencies and hold the country together.
In response to the auditors’ report, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said it was « premature » to judge projects which had not been completed.
He noted that progress had been made in areas such as police reform and elections, even if more work still needed to be done.
The auditors said: « Fewer than half of the programmes examined have delivered, or are likely to deliver, most of the expected results.
« Sustainability is an unrealistic prospect in most cases. »
They criticised the design of EU programmes aimed at developing good governance in DR Congo, saying local risks had not been properly assessed in many cases.
The auditors also urged the European Commission to tighten up monitoring of such programmes, to ensure that money was not misspent.
They noted that fraud and corruption remained big problems in DR Congo and that EU aid should be targeted accordingly.
The report said that « although the country is facing a difficult economic and budgetary situation, and low salaries are one reason for the inefficiency of government departments, MPs’ salaries were increased from 1,500 US dollars during the transition period to 6,000 US dollars in 2006 and 13,000 US dollars in 2012.
« In 2011, spending on the Presidency, the Prime Minister, the National Assembly and the Senate accounted for 11% of total budgetary expenditure and was almost three times the amount spent on health. »