Rwanda’s response to recent misrepresentations about migration deal with UK

On 2 October 2023 at 09:21

Rwanda’s government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo has reaffirmed the country’s unwavering commitment to treating all individuals equally, irrespective of their nationality or origin. Her statement comes in response to a recent article published on September 30, in which a British company, Led by Donkeys, allegedly established fake Southeast Asian entity to approach Chelgate, a firm previously associated with the Rwandan government, seeking clarity on investment in Rwanda.

A meeting took place in August, during which the Rwandan High Commissioner to the UK, Johnston Busingye, was also in attendance. The discussions during this meeting covered various aspects of the bilateral relationship between Rwanda and the UK, and according to Makolo, the article contained several factual inaccuracies.

Makolo clarified that Chelgate, owned by Terence Fane-Saunders, mentioned in the article, neither represented nor currently represents the Rwandan government. The government had terminated its contract with Mr. Fane-Saunders’ company over a year ago, and therefore, his comments should be disregarded.

Addressing the broader issues raised in the article, Makolo emphasized Rwanda’s pride in partnering with the UK government to address the challenges posed by the broken global migration system. She underscored the need to protect vulnerable individuals and prevent the empowerment of criminal smuggling networks, highlighting that Rwanda was actively engaged in finding solutions in cooperation with the UK.

In April 2022, the UK and Rwanda entered into a migration and economic development partnership aimed at offering a dignified life to those seeking asylum in European countries. Under this agreement, some individuals would be relocated to Rwanda and supported through various initiatives.

Makolo expressed Rwanda’s deep empathy for those seeking safety and opportunity in a new land, citing the country’s historical context as a driving force behind its approach to migration and asylum issues. She reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to combating discrimination, emphasizing that it is enshrined in the nation’s constitution and upheld through a dedication to the rule of law.

Regarding the Migration and Economic Development Partnership, Makolo stressed that Rwanda and the UK approach their collaboration from a foundation of mutual respect and open dialogue.

She also highlighted the pivotal role played by the Rwandan High Commissioner to the UK in maintaining the strong bilateral relationship between the two nations across various domains, including migration.

Rwanda has distanced itself from the comments of Chelgate founder, Fane-Saunders about Migration and Economic Development Partnership signed with UK.