Rwanda on Wednesday said that it “disagrees” with the UK Supreme Court’s ruling that the East African country could not be considered a safe country to send asylum seekers to.
Earlier, judges at the Supreme Court ruled that the government’s plan to send some migrants to Rwanda is unlawful and that asylum-seekers would be “at real risk of ill-treatment” because they could be sent back to countries they fled from.
But Alain Mukuralinda, the deputy Rwandan government spokesperson, said: “Rwanda disagrees with the judge’s ruling that asylum-seekers would be at the risk of being sent back to their home countries once in Rwanda.”
“Rwanda respects national, international laws it assented to and binding agreements,” Mukuralinda added.
Britain and Rwanda signed the controversial migration deal in April 2022 that would enable sending some migrants who arrive in the UK across the English Channel to the East African country, where their asylum claims would be processed.
The Rwandan government has argued that it signed the agreement because it gave Rwanda the chance to “take innovative action” to solve one of the world’s biggest crises, which resonates with the country’s history.
The UK offered upfront investment of £120 million ($149 million) to facilitate the implementation of the five-year agreement.
Mukuralinda said there is no provision for refund as the money has already been allocated to a number of infrastructure projects.
Frank Habineza, the opposition Democratic Green Party, said he criticized the attempt by the UK to pass on its obligations on asylum seekers onto other countries.
“I support refugees who want to come to Rwanda directly, but the Rwanda-UK asylum seekers scheme cannot be sustainable. The UK should fulfill its international obligations,” Habineza told Anadolu. - James Tasamba, Anadolu Agency