The Head of State made the revelation at a dinner event with members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Rwanda held at Kigali Convention Centre.
He was shedding light on the recent partnership between Rwanda and the United Kingdom (UK) where asylum seekers staying in the country illegally will be relocated to Rwanda.
Following agreements between both countries signed on 14th April 2022, different media houses and individuals majority of whom being from the western part of the world relentlessly criticized the deal saying its seems to be the trade of people because UK will provide funds to take care of asylum seekers in Rwanda.
Rwanda has however explained that the partnership reflects its commitments to protecting vulnerable people around the world, and ensuring development and prosperity for Rwanda and its people after enduring dark history that has embedded a responsibility to protect vulnerable people around the world.
Rwanda was once one of the world’s leading producers of refugees, and as such is particularly concerned with taking urgent steps towards more humane solutions to the global migration crisis.
Kagame has said that Rwanda did not agree to host asylum seekers to get money but highlighted that it is part of Rwandans values.
“I have seen some people saying, you know that the United Kingdom gave us money and then we want to dump people here. No, we don’t do that kind of thing. We don’t buy and sell people. We can’t do that because of our core values,” he said.
The Head of State hinted on Rwanda’s initial intervention regarding the issue of migrants in 2018 when thousands of Africans drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as they headed to Europe while others were stranded in detention centers of Libya.
That is when Rwanda started receiving migrants from Libya in collaboration with international organizations where they are accommodated and treated decently in a transit center before moving to third countries.
President Kagame said that Rwanda’s commitment initially arose from dreadful circumstances when he read a story of a young man from Ghana who sought money to be smuggled to Europe but ended up finding himself in enduring hard life in Libya living as a prisoner.
Realizing the dire conditions, the young man started negotiating smugglers to pay again US$900 to take him back home.
Kagame has revealed that he discussed the issue with other leaders and agreed to find a solution to save the lives of some migrants stuck in Libya.
“We agreed, if they arrived here, they could be easily taken back home if they choose to go back home. Second, those European countries that have allowed migrants to come to Europe, should come and stably select those they want to take to their countries and that would be still better than these people being trapped in Libya.
Then third, we provided another option. We said, for those who can’t go back, don’t want to go back for reasons of their own, and may not be selected by the countries that want to absorb them, we are giving them another option. We can actually find ways in which they can stay here. There were these three options in 2018,” he said.
The Head of State explained that the commitment was not influenced by someone else but rather Rwandans have values of welcoming people stuck in troubles.
“We don’t have to learn values from anybody. We have values in us that we go by. We can absorb people from wherever. If they are from Africa, we are even happier,” he noted.
“There are things you can’t buy about us. We are who we are and proud people. We are not involved in buying and selling people,” Kagame added.
I predicted this problem in 2015…
President Kagame has said that he realized the issue of migrants and Europeans would worsen further in 2015.
At the time, it was in October 2015 as he attended Rwanda Day in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
Considering the extent of the issue where Africans were heading to Europe in large number, the Head of State observed that Europeans would once be fed up.
“Rwandans had come in thousands and come from the whole of Europe. I asked them how they had come to Europe. I told them ‘you know what, there are some of you who came genuinely to Europe but some of you came here by telling lies’. Some of you told lies as victims of politics in Rwanda, some of you committed crimes in Rwanda and then you come here as innocent people running away from the evil Government of Rwanda,” he said.
“I said that one time; this Europe you are taking advantage of will get to know this truth, I am telling you. And they will come back to ask each of you how did you come here? They will know the truth about you, pack you in a container or something and send you back. I said that they will come to the truth because they have own problems as well,” Kagame added.
Kagame said that it was apparent that Europeans would one day wake up.
“I don’t think we are going to transfer half of Africa into Europe and Europe keeps silent. They will wake up,” he noted.
The Head of State also requested European countries to make an assessment to people who have been staying there for long claiming to be refugees or migrants because some of them might have committed crimes in countries of origin.
“I hope when UK sends these people, they should send to us some people they have accommodated for over 15 years who committed crimes here. We sent files and investigated. These are clear case files. Instead of being accommodated in that beautiful place in UK, many people should be in jail whether in UK or here. They are about five,” he stated.
These include Vincent Bajinya who was a doctor, Celestin Mutabaruka, who was a pastor; Celestin Ugirashebuja, Charles Munyaneza and Emmanuel Nteziryayo who served as former Bourgmestre suspected of Genocide crimes.
The President said that Rwanda is willing to partner with any country understanding the values around partnership.
In 2021, Europe received requests from over 600,000 asylum seekers applying for international protection.
The research carried out by Pew Research Center in 2016 indicates that Europe’s population might increase by 121 million in 2080 due to the issue of migrants if no action is taken.
The continent is predicted to register only 399 million population by 2080 excluding the number of migrants.
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