Suella Braverman visits one of residences supposed to accommodate refugees
The UK’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman on Saturday arrived in Rwanda for a two-day visit aimed to accelerate the deportation deal.
Braverman will hold talks with Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta before holding a joint press conference in the capital Kigali.
Her predecessor Priti Patel struck a deal in April 2022, under which illegal immigrants and asylum seekers are to be sent to Rwanda to have their claims processed there.
Braverman is expected to underscore her commitment to the deal.
Last week, Braverman said the government had “initiated discussions” with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), following its intervention last year to block plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda amid criticism.
The UK paid Rwanda €120 million ($146 million) upfront to facilitate the implementation of the five-year agreement which the British government hopes could help deter migrants from making the risky journey across the English Channel on small boats.
The Rwandan government argues that the deal is in line with Rwanda’s “quest to contribute innovative, long-term solutions to the global migration crisis.”
Last December, judges at the UK’s High Court ruled that the government’s plan to send asylum seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda is lawful.
But the court also criticized the government for failing to properly assess the circumstances of the eight individuals it tried to move under the scheme earlier that year.
More than 44,000 migrants arrived in the UK across the Channel last year.
Upon arrival in Kigali, Braverman headed to the Kigali genocide memorial center to pay respects to victims of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group.
“As I leave this memorial, I carry with me a renewed commitment to advocate for peace, tolerance, and respect. The memories of the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi are honored by promoting unity and reconciliation,” she said.
She later toured Bwiza Riverside Estate in the capital, one of the residences supposed to accommodate refugees.
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