4:35PM BST 27 Jul 2012
However, Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, announced a "delay" in sending a payment of £16 million. He stopped short of endorsing the UN's finding that Mr Kagame was fuelling Congo's rebellion, nor did he suspend British aid altogether.
Instead, Mr Mitchell urged Rwanda to "be clear publicly that Bosco Ntaganda, a key M23 figure, is an indicted war criminal who should not be allowed to remain at large as part of any solution to the current conflict". Rwanda, he added, should help the rival parties in Congo to "resolve their differences" peacefully.
Human rights groups had called on Britain to act against Mr Kagame. "Pressure has been mounting for a while and I think the UK, as the largest bilateral donor to Rwanda, was going to look odd if it continued to do nothing," said Carina Tertsakian, from the Africa division at Human Rights Watch.
"Even just on a symbolic level, it's a very significant decision because the UK – and Andrew Mitchell in particular – have been very reluctant to speak out on human rights in Rwanda. DFID have really resisted taking any public stance."
Rwanda has a history of sponsoring rebels in eastern Congo with the aim of hunting down militias responsible for the genocide of 1994, which claimed 800,000 lives. Mr Kagame denied the latest allegations, saying that "not one bullet" had passed from Rwanda to Congo.
But Ms Tertsakian pointed out that Mr Kagame denied any involvement in Congo even after Rwanda invaded the country in 1996 and 1998. "Whenever there is any criticism, the response is always categoric denial, blanket denial," she said. "It has been the same every time."