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Despite unresolved questions about massive killings of civilians in the Congo and in northwestern Rwanda and its continuing poor human rights record, the Rwandan government enjoys substantial international support. During 1999, about 45 percent of its budget was paid for by foreign aid. The World Bank, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands continue to be major donors, and Austria, Denmark and Norway have all indicated their intention to increase aid to Rwanda. On April 7, 2000, the sixth anniversary of the start of the genocide, the Belgian prime minister went to Rwanda and apologized for his country's refusal to try to stop the killings. He pledged renewed assistance to Rwanda, including an immediate $3 million for health services. Several weeks before, the European Commission announced an aid program to renew cooperation with the Rwandan government without making any reference to the need for improvements in the situation of human rights in Rwanda.

Although the United States is not a major donor, it has appeared firm in its political support for the Rwandan government. Although U.S. officials insist that they show no special favor to Kigali, their continued military assistance program, though small, and their silence about human rights issues suggest continued tolerance for the unsatisfactory performance of the Rwandan government.

Still burdened by guilt over their failure to intervene to halt the genocide, international actors have not questioned the Rwandan government's assessment of its own security needs or its judgment on how those needs might best be met. Themselves anxious to see stability in this troubled region and determined to avoid a new genocide, they have concurred in subordinating human rights to supposed security needs. However well-intentioned this policy, it has left unsupported the voices calling for reform within Rwanda and thus lessens the likelihood for improvement. At the same time, making exceptions for Rwanda in the name of security weakens the effect of calls for improvements in other countries, particularly in the immediate region. .

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