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Rwanda Unwilling to Guarantee Quantity of Migrants Accepted from UK

Rwanda Refuses to Commit to Specific Number of Migrants (Credits: News Central TV)

The Rwandan government has declined to provide a specific guarantee on the number of migrants it can accommodate from the UK if flights were to commence.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that migrants arriving in the UK without permission would be redirected to Rwanda instead of being allowed to claim asylum in the UK. This policy change came into effect in 2023, and approximately 52,000 individuals have arrived in the UK since then and are now in line for deportation.

Under a five-year agreement between Rwanda and the UK, estimated costs have already reached at least £300 million. The legislation enabling the UK to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was passed by Parliament last month.

Rwanda won’t guarantee how many migrants it will take from UK (Credits: News Central TV)

Speaking on April 22nd, Mr. Sunak stated that the first flight to Rwanda would depart in 10 to 12 weeks. The government aims to conduct multiple flights per month throughout the summer and beyond.

According to the Home Office, there are currently 52,000 asylum seekers who could potentially be sent to Rwanda.

However, Rwanda’s government spokesperson, Yolande Maloko, stated that they could not specify the exact number of migrants they would accommodate in the first or second year. When asked if Rwanda could handle the entire backlog of asylum seekers, Ms. Maloko mentioned that numerous factors were being considered to determine this capacity.

Pressed for a commitment on the number of asylum seekers Rwanda could accommodate, Ms. Maloko reiterated that Rwanda was prepared to welcome migrants but did not confirm the ability to host all 52,000 individuals requested by the UK, simply stating that it would be “thousands.”

Rwanda refuses to guarantee how many asylum seekers it will take (Credits: VOA Africa)

The UK government has emphasized that the notion of being sent to Rwanda should act as a deterrent for those attempting to enter the UK. However, Ms. Maloko emphasized that living in Rwanda is not a punishment, emphasizing the country’s beauty and pleasant weather.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper, also appearing on the program, mentioned that the UK government is working on a plan to start flights to Rwanda within 10 to 12 weeks. He emphasized the importance of establishing a steady rhythm of flights throughout the year to disrupt the business model of organized crime groups facilitating illegal migration.

Labour’s Pat McFadden expressed doubts about the effectiveness and value for money of the scheme. While he believes the government may succeed in implementing the flights to Rwanda, he reiterated Labour’s opposition to Sunak’s policy and expressed skepticism about Labour’s willingness to cooperate in returning asylum seekers to the UK.

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