Sunday, July 14, 2024

Asylum-Seekers: Rwanda Respond to UK’s Decision to End Scheme

Rwanda’s government says it is aware of the United Kingdom’s intention to terminate its plan to deport asylum-seekers to the East African country.

In a statement late Monday, the office of the Rwandan government spokesman said the deal had been initiated by the UK “to address the crisis of irregular migration affecting the UK — a problem of the UK, not Rwanda.”

This is the first time Rwandan authorities are officially commenting on plans by the UK’s new Labour Party government to cancel the scheme, which drew criticism from human rights watchdogs and others as cruel and inhumane.

UK Allows Govt. To Start Sending Asylum Seekers To Rwanda

It was not clear if Rwandan authorities were reacting to press reports or had been given official notification of plans to terminate the agreement.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer said in his first news conference Saturday that the Rwanda deportation plan “was dead and buried before it started.”

Starmer denounced it as a “gimmick,” though it’s unclear what he will do differently as a record number of people have come ashore in the first six months of the year.

The Rwanda deportation plan once was billed as a solution that would deter migrants from risking their lives on a journey that could end with their deportation to East Africa. So far, it has cost the UK government hundreds of millions of dollars without taking flight.

The Rwandan statement said the government “has fully upheld its side of the agreement, including with regard to finances.”

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