UK reiterates willingness to send migrants to Rwanda

By Zaninka Umutesi
On 16 December 2022 at 10:54

The British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Omar Daair, has said that his country is confident that the legal challenges that hindered the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda will end in the near future.

In April 2022, Rwanda and the United Kingdom (UK) signed Migration and Economic Development partnership. The deal paves the way for deportation to Rwanda of migrants and asylum seekers staying in the UK illegally.

Under this program, migrants are set to benefit from secondary qualifications, vocational and skills training, language lessons and higher education.

After signing the agreement, it was reported that those willing to return to their mother lands will be helped to do so.

The UK made the decision to discourage people crossing to the country illegally and reduce the budget spent on them every year.

The deal was criticized by various organizations overseeing migrants’ interests and some British politicians.

Their first flight to Rwanda was expected on 14th June 2022 but was cancelled at last minute after an intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Currently, the issue is still in court, pending a decision on the appeal filed against the deportation.

Although the court has not yet made a decision, Amb. Omar Daair said that they are still confident that the deportation will go into force.

"The British government is very confident that this agreement is legal and correct, and has fought that case in court," he said.

"We expect that verdict to come on Monday, so once we have that verdict, if it is in favor of the UK government then we will be able to move towards implementation of this agreement, with people being transferred here." Added Amb. Daair.

This was also highlighted by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak while appearing before parliament on Tuesday.

Once the legal challenge is handled, Sunak said that migrants will be deported to Rwanda based on signed Migration and Economic Development Partnership.

The UK is one of the European countries that have for long struggled with an increase in illegal migrants, mainly through the English Channel.

The BBC recently reported that at least 40,000 people crossed the English Channel in 2022, a higher number compared to 28,526 registered last year.

These illegal migrants come from various countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The UK spends at least 5.5 million pounds a year on migrants where they stay in hotels while their claims are being processed.

The UK has reiterated willingness to send migrants to Rwanda.