Rwanda on Standby to Receive UK Migrants, President Kagame Says - BLOOMBERG
(Bloomberg) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame said his government remains committed to accepting asylum seekers deported from the UK, a plan that’s drawn criticism from human-rights groups and is being legally challenged.
“For us to receive them and process them, working with the UK, we are ready,” Kagame said in an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday. “UK has to be ready on their part.”
The UK’s Court of Appeal last month held a four-day hearing on challenges to the legality of the policy of flying asylum seekers arriving in Britain some 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers) to the East African nation, and has yet to say when it will deliver its ruling. The United Nations Refugee Agency told the court the plan will expose the migrants to “serious harm” and was incompatible with the UK’s international obligations.
While Rwanda has consistently had one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and made strides in drawing foreign investment, Kagame’s administration has been criticized by advocacy groups for failing to respect human rights and repressing political opposition.
Kagame described the deal with the UK as a development partnership that would entail “resettling migrants who need to settle down” and give them “the freedom to do what they want to do in places that they are stable.”
The idea came about after Rwanda began accepting African refugees who were caught up in instability in Libya while en route to Europe in 2018. It’s also been explored by some European countries, Kagame said, without identifying them.