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    Tuesday, December 5, 2023

    UK Home Secretary Arrives in Rwanda

    Edwin Ashimwe

    The United Kingdom's Home Secretary James Cleverly on Tuesday morning visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, as part of his visit to Rwanda.

    Cleverly's visit to Kigali comes at a time when Rwanda and the United Kingdom plan to sign a new migration treaty, which would, among others, re-emphasize provisions of the initial plan of transferring to Rwanda migrants arriving illegally in the UK through the British Channel.

    On November 15, UK's top court declared the initial deportation scheme unlawful, citing that asylum seekers sent to Rwanda would risk being sent back to their countries of origin, among other challenges.

    However, Kigali dismissed such allegations pointing out that the new binding treaty between the United Kingdom and Rwanda will respond to concerns raised by the UK Supreme Court.

    "What I can say about the treaty that we are working on right now is that it will re-emphasize the guarantees that are in the MoUs," government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo told British television Sky News after the November 15, UK Supreme Court ruling.

    She added; "The provisions are already there. So, the re-emphasising of these guarantees in the treaty will address the concerns of the court and will reassure anyone who has any worries about asylum seekers being sent back to the countries that they came from. They've already been addressed in the MoU. They will be reemphasised in the treaty."

    The Rwanda-UK migration deal is at the center of the latter's strategy to cut migration and is being watched closely by other countries considering similar policies.

    In Rwanda, Cleverly is expected to meet with Vincent Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs to sign the agreement.

    "Rwanda cares deeply about the rights of refugees, and I look forward to meeting with counterparts to sign this agreement and further discuss how we work together to tackle the global challenge of illegal migration," Cleverly said before departing to Kigali.

    Under the plan, Britain intends to send thousands of asylum seekers who arrived on its shores without permission to Rwanda in a bid to deter migrants crossing the Channel from Europe in small boats.

    In 2023 alone, almost 29,000 people arrived on the southern English coast without permission, after a record 45,755 were detected in 2022.

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