Inside facilities expected to accommodate refugees and asylum seekers from UK

On 20 May 2022 at 02:00

Rwanda is in advanced stage of preparations to host the first batch of refugees and asylum seekers from the United Kingdom (UK).

Rwanda and the United Kingdom (UK) recently signed the Economic Development Partnership on Thursday 14th April 2022.The partnership will see Rwanda accommodating asylum seekers staying in UK illegally.

The development came at a time when deep global inequalities are driving millions of people from their homes in search of opportunity, at the same time as millions are forcibly displaced by conflict, persecution, and other threats to safety.

Under this program, the UK will provide an upfront investment of £120 million to fund invaluable opportunities for Rwandans and migrants including secondary qualifications, vocational and skills training, language lessons, and higher education.

These asylum seekers from African countries and others outside the continent will be treated decently like Rwandans upon arrival. It is expected that those willing to return to their mother lands will be helped to do so.

Unlike asylum seekers and refugees from Libya living in Gashora Transit Camp, the ones from UK will be housed in specially-selected accommodation facilities where they will wait for asylum claims to be processed.

First batch to arrive soon

The Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Alain Mukuralinda has said that the first batch of asylum seekers is expected to arrive soon. He however revealed that the final decision will be taken by UK.

“We are expecting the first batch of asylum seekers to arrive soon but we cannot confirm the exact date because we are not the ones to send them. The United Kingdom knows the precise number of individuals to be flown in the first batch and when they are ready to send them,” he said.

Mukuralinda revealed that Rwanda has already made necessary preparations.

“The most important thing is that Rwanda is ready. As of today, I want to assure that we can even host 500 in the first batch but they will arrive in batches on communicated dates,” he noted.

Mukuralinda further disclosed that hostels to accommodate the refugees and asylum seekers are available.

IGIHE has learnt that three buildings meeting requirements in Kigali City have been designated to host them.

These include Hope House located in Kinyinya Sector. The latter is managed by AERG (Association des Etudiants et Eleves Rescapes du Genocide), a body that brings together genocide survivors studying in university and secondary schools. The building previously accommodated Genocide orphans without shelters.

It has been prepared enough to accommodate the asylum seekers. The facility is expected to shelter 100 people who will be served food thrice a day.

Refugees and asylum seekers will enjoy their rights to move freely and return to the building anytime they want.

New facilities including a football playground, Volleyball and Basketball courts for asylum seekers are being developed at the premises.

The five-storey building constructed between 2010 and 2014 has all necessary equipment including beds.

Hope House also has a large room that can serve as a refectory and multipurpose hall where asylum seekers will turn up for social interactions.

‘Desire Resort Hotel’ located in Kagugu of Gasabo District is another facility set to accommodate asylum seekers. It has 72 rooms and different recreational facilities including a swimming pool.

More refugees and asylum seekers will be hosted at ’Hallmark residences’, a facility comprised of 30 units with 102 rooms.

Those to be hosted at the facility will also be fed and helped to participate in different recreational activities.

On 18th May 2022; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta met with UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel with whom they discussed the implementation of the UK-Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership.

Hallmark residences

Desire Resort Hotel

Hope House