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Statement on Rwanda

A spokesperson for Tony Blair said:

"Tony Blair and his Africa charity, AGI, work to support the Government of Rwanda to improve the social and economic development of the country - working on crucial issues like agriculture and access to electricity. This is making a difference to the lives of ordinary people.

"Rwanda has gone from a country racked by genocide to one that has lifted over a million people out of poverty, with rapid improvements in health and education. What is more, a recent study by the British Government showed that Rwanda was one of the most effective users of aid in the world.

"Of course the situation in Goma is concerning and we fully support the calls made by the countries of the Great Lakes and especially by DRC, Rwanda and Uganda yesterday for M23 to withdraw immediately. But we disagree that essential work for the people in Rwanda should stop because of the dispute in the Congo. The right thing to do is to deal with this issue through the ICGLR and the international community, and to continue to support progress that improves the lives of the Rwandan people."