Rwanda says it is aware of UK’s intention to end controversial deportation programme



KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — The Rwandan government says it is aware of the United Kingdom’s intention to end its plan to deport asylum seekers to the East African country.

In a statement Monday evening, the Rwandan government spokesperson’s office said the deal was initiated by the United Kingdom “to address the irregular migration crisis affecting the UK – a UK problem, not Rwanda’s.”

This is the first time that the Rwandan authorities have officially commented on the plans of the new British Labour Party government to schemewhich has been criticized by human rights organizations and others as cruel and inhumane.

It is not clear whether Rwandan authorities were responding to press reports or whether they had been officially notified of plans to terminate the agreement.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer said at his first press conference on Saturday that the deportation plan for Rwanda was “dead and buried before it started.”

Starmer called it a “gimmick” but it is unclear what he will do differently given that record numbers of people have arrived on shore in the first six months of the year.

Rwanda’s deportation plan was once heralded as a solution that would stop migrants risking their lives on a journey that could end with their deportation to East Africa. So far, it has cost the British government hundreds of millions of dollars without fleeing.

Rwanda’s statement said the government had “fully fulfilled its side of the agreement, including on finances.”

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