Human Rights Watch's submission to the International Development Committee (IDC) focuses primarily on the role of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) in Rwanda, given the UK's particularly important role in that country and Rwanda's critical role in the Great Lakes region.It also includes a brief section on the regional dimension, which covers both the DRC and Burundi. The submission concentrates on the human rights dimension of DFID's strategy.
Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has stated that DFID's policy towards fragile and conflict-affected states should focus on building open and responsive political systems and empowering citizens to hold their governments to account. However, in respect of Rwanda in particular, DFID has not given adequate priority to human rights or responsive governance, and has not held Rwanda to its national and international commitments on human rights. DFID's apparent lack of attention to these issues has encouraged the Rwandan government to believe that respect for human rights and good governance matter little to its largest donor. The submission makes a number of recommendations to DFID on giving human rights a greater priority.