Anticipated changes in revised Rwanda-UK migrant treaty

By Esther Muhozi
On 21 November 2023 at 10:18

The Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Yolande Makolo has announced a revised treaty between Rwanda and the UK that addresses concerns raised in the previous one and provide greater clarity on the resolution of migrant crisis.

Makolo shared these insights during an interview with Sky News, emphasizing that amendments are being made in response to questions raised by the United Kingdom (UK)’s Supreme Court.

In response to concerns about the potential return of asylum seekers to their place of origin, Makolo highlighted that the revised agreement clearly defines this aspect. She assured that the legal system governing these matters will be explicitly outlined, addressing and confirming any uncertainties.

Expressing disagreement with the UK Supreme Court’s characterization of Rwanda as an unsafe country, Makolo asserted the safety of Rwanda. He emphasized that the agreement clearly states that Rwanda does not always repatriate migrants to their place of origin, reinforcing this stance in the ongoing legal procedures.

Makolo clarified that Rwanda, having signed an international treaty on protection of refugees, is obligated not to send individuals back to their place of origin if they are fleeing from a bad life. She assured that migrants arriving in Rwanda will have the option to live in the country without the risk of expulsion to an unsafe place, and they can choose to return to their place of origin if they wish.

Addressing concerns about the well-being of immigrants in Rwanda, Makolo underscored that they will be treated well and receive the same services as Rwandans. To support them, the government is actively increasing job opportunities, reforming education services for higher quality, and facilitating the acquisition of citizenship through legal channels.

Responding to questions about potential challenges faced by immigrants, Makolo stated that Rwanda acknowledges universal issues present in every country. She affirmed that immigrants will have equal opportunities to overcome these challenges and emphasized a collective effort for shared progress.

Makolo expressed pride in Rwanda’s progress, noting ongoing efforts over the past 30 years. Despite global immigration debates, she emphasized the country’s commitment to continuous improvement. Looking ahead, she envisioned a better Rwanda for both its citizens and those choosing to stay, anticipating further progress in the coming years.