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Rwanda comments on Starmer's decision to scrap plans to deport refugees

Kigali– The Rwandan government said it had taken note of the British government's intention to terminate the Migration and Economic Development Partnership Agreement, a treaty signed by the two parliaments.

The government added in a statement that the partnership “was initiated by the UK government to address the irregular migration crisis affecting the UK, an issue that concerns the UK and not Rwanda”.

She confirmed thatRwanda “It has fully implemented the terms of the agreement, including on financial issues.” The statement reiterated that Rwanda “remains committed to finding solutions to the global migration crisis, including providing safety, dignity and opportunities for refugees and migrants who come to Rwanda.”

He is the new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer He confirmed that he would scrap plans to deport refugees who had arrived in the UK illegally to Rwanda before their requests were decided, saying the plan was, as he described it, “dead and buried before it had begun”. He added, “The plan has never been a deterrent and I am not prepared to continue with a ploy that does not constitute a deterrent,” he said.

Before he won the election, he made a promise Labour Party Britain urged voters to divert funds intended for implementing the agreement with Rwanda to “establish a border security command.”

It is worth noting that the plan to transport refugees to Rwanda was first announced by the former Prime Minister in 2022 Boris JohnsonJohnson's government said at the time it would end the crisis of asylum seekers arriving in the country on small boats.

And later the status of the former prime minister Rishi Sunak Implementing the original plan was on his agenda and after facing legal difficulties, the government took the initiative to approve a set of legislation and went to Parliament to ratify the agreement.

Border Security Force

The UK Home Office moved quickly after the new government was announced, with the new Labour government's Home Secretary Yvette Cooper announcing the first steps in establishing new leadership for UK border security.

Cooper revealed the government had begun preparing early legislation to set up a new counter-terrorism force, similar to the one that would target those who help tens of thousands of people enter the UK by small boats each year, in a move he described as a “significant change in the fight against organised migrant crime”.

The new minister also announced that the Border Security Command will include personnel from “national crime agencies, intelligence agencies, police, immigration enforcement and border forces” and will use a number of resources to “work across Europe and beyond to disrupt human trafficking networks,” coordinating with European prosecutors.

The Ministry of the Interior has announced that it has begun searching for a distinguished leader from among those who have worked in the police, intelligence or military to lead the new force, who will follow the direct chain of command of the Minister of the Interior.

Meanwhile, Cooper has launched an investigation to identify the latest methods and tactics used by smugglers to bring refugees into the UK.

Rwanda and shared solutions

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Rwandan government spokesman Yolande Makolo said that during the negotiations for the agreement, Rwanda's goal was to try to find common solutions to major issues.

She criticised Kigali for being unfairly targeted in the context of the agreement, which “causes a lot of controversy in the UK as a priority issue in British domestic politics”.

McCullough also criticized “the flawed systems for moving people in and out of many countries around the world that still rely on a system built after World War II” that is unfit for the 21st century, she said.

Rwanda hosts some 135,000 refugees, including 85,000 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and about 50,000 from Burundi, all of whom are under temporary protection in Rwanda under the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Kigali has so far accepted hundreds of refugees stranded in Libya in accordance with the plan to receive Libyan refugees proposed by Rwanda during its chairmanship of the AU.

The plan, which came into effect in early 2022 and was implemented in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, sees Rwanda acting as a temporary host country for refugees until they are transferred to a third country.


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