FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Rwanda

Reuters

Relations between Rwanda and its donors have soured over a report by a U.N. group of experts that accused Kigali of backing rebels in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda has repeatedly rejected the allegations that senior Kigali officials have created, equipped, trained and directly commanded the M23 rebel movement which briefly seized the eastern Congolese city of Goma.

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Donors including Britain, Rwanda's biggest bilateral donor, the European Union and the United States have suspended some of their financial aid to Kigali.

INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE

The rebels pulled out of Goma, the provincial capital of Congo's North Kivu province this month, after holding the city for 11 days and are demanding talks with Kinshasa.

The Kigali government says talks are the next logical step towards ending the crisis.

What to watch:

- Will the relationship between Congo and Rwanda deteriorate further?

- Any further evidence of Rwanda backing the M23 rebels.

- Talks between the rebels and the Kinshasa government.

ECONOMIC PAIN AHEAD?

Rwanda may have to cut its 2013 economic growth forecast if $240 million in international aid remains delayed or suspended.

Finance Minister John Rwangombwa said the aid suspensions might cost the economy about 1.5 percentage points and said the estimate for growth next year could be revised down to 6 percent.

He said Rwanda would receive aid contributions worth a total $165 million from the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) for the fiscal year that ends next June.

What to watch:

- An official GDP revision downwards.

- Will Rwanda delay a planned Eurobond issue due in 2013?

POLITICAL OPPONENTS, INTERNAL RIFTS

President Paul Kagame has been accused by critics of being authoritarian and trampling on media and political freedoms. He rejects the accusations, and points to his record of leading his country's recovery from the genocide.

A Rwandan court in October jailed opposition politician Victoire Ingabire to eight years in prison, in a case linked to the 1994 genocide. Ingabire was accused of transferring money to FDLR Hutu rebels and of questioning why no Hutu victims were mentioned in a genocide memorial.

Ingabire is appealing against the conviction.

What to watch:

- Will Ingabire's appeal be successful?

- How will Kagame react to pressure from opposition parties and the West for political liberalisation? (Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by James Macharia and Alison Williams)