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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 10:36 UTC

 

 

“Stop the boats” policy, First volunteer asylum seeker off to Rwanda

Thursday, May 2nd 2024 - 05:47 UTC
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British authorities have detained the first migrants set to be removed to Rwanda under PM Rishi Sunak's flagship illegal migration policy to begin by July British authorities have detained the first migrants set to be removed to Rwanda under PM Rishi Sunak's flagship illegal migration policy to begin by July
The unnamed volunteer who left the UK on Monday, was offered up to 3,000 pounds (€3,515, US$ 3,740) of financial aid as part of the separate scheme (PA Images) The unnamed volunteer who left the UK on Monday, was offered up to 3,000 pounds (€3,515, US$ 3,740) of financial aid as part of the separate scheme (PA Images)

British media is reporting that the UK has sent its first asylum-seeker to Rwanda under a voluntary scheme, just a week after the UK government adopted a controversial law allowing irregular migrants to be deported to the East African nation.

 The voluntary scheme is separate from the government's forced deportation program that seeks to deter asylum seekers from crossing the English Channel, in small boats to live in the UK, an official government policy identifies as “stop the boats”.

The contentious law allows the UK government to expel undocumented migrants to Rwanda, where they would be allowed to remain if their asylum applications are successful.

British authorities have detained the first migrants set to be removed to Rwanda under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's flagship illegal migration policy, the government said on Wednesday.

Sunak's Conservative government plans to begin the expulsions by July. Meanwhile, the unnamed man — who left the UK on Monday — is the first to have voluntarily moved to Rwanda after being offered up to 3,000 pounds (€3,515, US$ 3,740) of financial aid as part of the separate scheme, media reports said.

He had agreed to be sent to Kigali after his asylum request was rejected late last year, several media outlets reported. The man — who is not Rwandan but said to be of “African origin” — left on a commercial flight to Kigali, The Sun newspaper reported.

The news comes weeks before local elections in England and Wales in which the ruling Conservatives are expected to suffer major losses to the opposition Labor Party.

Sunak has made “stopping the boats” one of his five promises to the public, with the asylum-seekers removal seen as a signal to voters that his government's wider migration plan can be made to work.

“We are now able to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda under our migration and economic development partnership,” a government spokesperson said.

“This deal allows people with no immigration status in the UK to be relocated to a safe third country where they will be supported to rebuild their lives,” the spokesperson said.

The government's forced deportation plan has come under fire from the United Nations, EU superor court and rights groups.

On Monday, a British government document showed that the first asylum-seekers to be deported from the UK to Rwanda would come from a group of 5,700 people that Kigali has agreed in principle to accept. More than 7,000 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year, making it a record high for the first four months of a calendar year.

Rwanda — which has a population of 13 million people —claims to be one of the most stable nations on the African continent and has been praised for its modern infrastructure. However, rights groups have accused President Paul Kagame of ruling in a climate of fear, stifling dissent and free speech.

Likewise in 1994 the country suffered a civil war, and what has been known as the 'Rwandan genocide,” a period in which members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, and some moderates Hutus and Twa were massacred by armed Hutu militias.

Categories: Politics, International.

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