Rwanda in talks to host asylum seekers from Denmark

On 21 April 2022 at 07:01

The Government of Rwanda has confirmed that it is in talks with Denmark to seek a solution to the problem of refugees and asylum seekers staying in the country illegally.

The development was initially announced by Immigration Denmark Minister, Mattias Tesfaye speaking to Reuters on Wednesday 20th April 2022.

"Our dialogue with the Rwandan government includes a mechanism for the transfer of asylum seekers," he said.

The Deputy Spokesperson of the Government of Rwanda, Alain Mukuralinda has also told IGIHE that talks are ongoing between both countries to address the issue.

The talks between Rwanda and Denmark follow the signing of Migration and Economic Development Partnership between the United Kingdom (UK) and Rwanda last week on 14th April 2022 that will see the latter accommodating asylum seekers staying in UK illegally.

As he spoke to Reuters, Minister Tesfaye revealed that the deal would aim to ‘ensure a more dignified approach than the criminal network of human traffickers that characterises migration across the Mediterranean today’.

Denmark, which has introduced increasingly harsh immigration policies in the last decade, passed a law last year that allows refugees arriving on Danish soil to be moved to asylum centres in a partner country.

In April 2021, Rwanda and Denmark signed Denmark also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on asylum and immigration issues.

The MoU was signed at a time when Denmark had already joined countries providing funds to support asylum seekers from Libya hosted in Gashora Transit Camp.

Speaking to the media last year in July, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta stressed that the cooperation on asylum and immigration issues involves the management of a refugee transit camp in Bugesera but dealing with refugees’ problem in a broader perspective.

“Signing such agreements signifies that we are ready to discuss the issue but have no clauses of hosting asylum seekers illegally staying in Denmark,” he said.

Dr. Biruta further stated that agreements are entered into in adherence to international norms and provisions for human rights.

He said that refugees assisted under such circumstances need to be protected and helped to sort out their problem taking into consideration their dignity and rights.

“Any contribution to address refugees’ problems is in light of that context. It is about international norms, their dignity and rights,” he noted.

Denmark accommodates over 35,000 Syrian refugees who have been living in the country for the past ten years.

Rwanda is in talks to host asylum seekers from Denmark.