LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was announcing plans on Thursday to send hundreds of thousands of miles to Rwanda to process their requests, a key step in the migration policy.
The British government has so far failed to prevent a small but steady flow of people, who have been making dangerous crossings, often on unmanageable boats, across the English Channel from France, to Mr Johnson’s dismay.
In return, the UK will pay Rwanda 120 million pounds, about $ 157 million, financing “opportunities for Rwanda and migrants”, including education, secondary skills, vocational and skills training and language lessons, the Rwanda government. Said in a statement.
Rights groups have expressed concern that the move could encourage other nations to embrace the “off-shoring” of the refugee process, and the project was greeted by a wave of protests by opposition politicians and charitable organizations that policy. The latter were worried about both theory and choice. Rwanda, a country whose rights record the UK has already questioned.
Details of the proposal were still out on Thursday but, according to the BBC, it will apply to men entering the UK using the illegal route. Rwanda’s government said that those who have moved to the country will be offered “legal accommodation” if their claims are successful.
There are limited legal routes for refugees in the UK, which can effectively prevent many from claiming asylum that allow them to stay in the country.
“Rwanda’s government is pleased to confirm a courageous new partnership with the United Kingdom, which will take a modern approach to resolving the global migration crisis,” the government said in its statement. “A broken migration and refugee system is failing to protect vulnerable people, and criminalizing criminal trafficking gangs at an enormous human cost.”
Prior to the announcement, Downing Street said the government would “detail the world’s first migration and economic development partnership, signed by the Home Secretary, Preeti Patel, Rwanda.”
While the number of people arriving in the UK by boat is limited by international standards, the crossing of the English Channel led to Mr Johnson’s continued embarrassment for the government.
In 2016, he successfully campaigned for Brexit, arguing that it would allow the country to “back control” on its borders, and the increasing number of visitors along the British coast is a hallmark of failure to do so.
In a quote from his speech, previously released by Downing Street, Mr Johnson was expected to say that Britain “cannot maintain a parallel illegal system. Our compassion may be infinite, but our people’s.” No ability to help.
Yvette Cooper, who speaks for the opposition Labor Party on home affairs, called the project “inappropriate, immoral and coercive.”
he was, She wrote on TwitterA “disappointing and really embarrassing announcement,” and “an attempt to divert attention from breaking the law of Boris Johnson”, after the police ruled on Erie Tuesday that the Prime Minister was attending a birthday party in Downing Street to break lockdown rules. Have been
Ian Blakeford, leader of the Scottish National Party’s legislators in the British Parliament, told the BBC that the proposal was “absolutely shocking”.
There were signs that even those who supported this idea in principle were not yet convinced.
In an editorial, The Daily Mail, which championed Brexit and supported efforts to halt immigration, said it was “disturbing” the proposal, and noted that previous efforts by the UK to curb the flow of migrants. for the. The English Channel was unsuccessful.
“From paying France to returning illegal cannabis drugs to the smuggling of people’s smugglers, none of the home office’s tactics have been successful yet,” it wrote.
Parliament is discussing a legal framework that makes it possible for migrants to leave the country when their petitions are processed and arrested by boat that comes via the English Channel.
Other countries have tried similar strategies to try to stop migrants, including Australia, who have used refugee processing centers on Pacific islands, such as Norway. In September, Denmark’s parliament passed a law that allows nations to move asylum seekers outside of Europe, despite their criticism of rights groups and the United States.
Rwanda has offered to host migrants in the past who were relocated elsewhere. In 2017, it Offered to receive Up to 30,000 African migrants who have been subjected to discrimination, trafficking and torture in Libya.
The Central African nation also has an agreement with the African Union and the United Nations Refugee Agency to continue to evacuate and host refugees and migrants from Libya by 2023.
Those arriving at emergency transit centers in the country have been given the option to seek resettlement to third countries, to return home or to refugees’ back country, or to Rwanda.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Rwanda government said it was hosting 130,000 XNUMX refugees, including neighboring Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last August, it also acquired the boarding school families of students, teachers and girls who had fled to Afghanistan after the Taliban occupied the country.
The migration agreement arrived just weeks after Johnston Busingy, Rwanda’s new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom arrived in London. There was mounting pressure from the British government to suspend Mr Busingi’s appointment because of his role in the arrest of his rival Paul Rusbagina.
Last February, Mr Busingi mistakenly admitted in a video published by Al Jazeera English why he had discriminatory legal material related to Mr Rosenbagina’s case and paid Rwanda’s government a private jet price that tempted him from the United Arab Emirates. General Chat Chat Lounge The capital of Rwanda, Kigali.
The case of Mr Rosenbagina, who helped save thousands of people during Rwanda’s genocide and inspired the movie “Hotel Rwanda”, and received a 25-year sentence last September, has been widely criticized by rights groups. , Who said the action represented “more.” More a public spectacle than a court ruling.
Stephen Castle reports from London and Abdi Latif out of Nairobi, Kenya.