Lonnie McNair Comments on U.S. Decision to Cut Aid to Rwanda, Alleged Rwandan Support of Rebels in Congo

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As concerns of Rwanda’s rebel support surface, the U.S. government cuts the country’s planned military support. Lonnie McNair, United States Army veteran, responds to the controversial decision.

The U.S. government announced their decision to cease any planned military assistance after concerns surfaced that the Kigali government of Rwanda had been supporting Congo’s rebels. Rwanda has denied the allegations made by the United Nations that Kigali government officials have been supporting the East Congo M23 rebel movement. Military supporter Lonnie McNair agrees with the decision of the U.S. to cut Rwanda’s support. A new article from The Huffington Post explains what this means for U.S. and Rwanda relations.

According to the article, more than 200,000 civilians have been forced to leave their homes since April due to fighting in East Congo. The country’s army is accused of pillaging and raping civilians as often as the country’s rebels and militia. State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said in an emailed statement that the U.S. has been an ally of Rwanda, pledging more than $200,000 in military aid in an attempt to better train Congo’s ill-equipped, ill-paid and demoralized army.

Throughout his 20 years of service to the American military, U.S. Army veteran Lonnie McNair has been focused on protecting his country’s freedom and supporting countries in need. However, Lonnie McNair’s opinions mirror the decision of the U.S. government and he agrees with the decision to cut Rwanda’s funding.

The article suggests that the government’s move was an attempt to snub the Kigali government for the recent instability in eastern Congo. Washington and the U.N. Security Council have made several statements condemning outside support to Congo armed forces. Lonnie McNair also points out that earlier this month, leaders of Congo and Rwanda agreed to back a neutral international armed force to combat Congo’s rebel groups.

State Department spokesman Darby Holladay stated that the U.S. military funds planned for Rwanda’s military assistance will instead be reallocated to another country – no word yet on what country that might be. Lonnie McNair notes that there are several countries in need of the United States’ support.

“It is unfortunate the United States must withdraw military assistance to Rwanda in order to get the country's attention as well as adjust their viewpoint on supporting rebel movements in East Congo,” commented Lonnie McNair. “Although the withdrawal of the assistance from a country in need is unfortunate, it is also the best course of action for the entire region in order to firmly re-establish, maintain, and sustain stability. Although there are differences, sovereign nations must learn to respect each others borders in order to move forward with regional stability.”

ABOUT:

Lonnie McNair, a United States Army veteran, has served his country for more than 20 years. He is also a highly regarded leader, operations professional and manager. In addition to his professional service, Lonnie McNair has participated in several philanthropic causes including the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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Michael McGarety
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