Rwanda fumes its one of safest countries in world after deportation block

The Rwandan Government said it took “issue” with the ruling by the British Court of Appeal regarding Whitehall’s deportation scheme.

Three judges at the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court ruling, which had previously stated the eastern African nation could be considered a “safe third country” to send migrants to.

Rwanda is “one of the safest countries in the world”, according to the country’s government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo.

Asked if her government was considering intervening in the case in order to appeal the ruling, she said: “The UK Government is considering an appeal.”

She added: “While this is ultimately a decision for the UK’s judicial system, we do take issue with the ruling that Rwanda is not a safe country for asylum seekers and refugees.

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“Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the world and we have been recognised by the UNHCR and other international institutions for our exemplary treatment of refugees.

“We make a significant contribution to dealing with the impacts of the global migration crisis. Rwandans know what it means to be forced to flee home, and to make a new life in a new country.”

People relocated there under the British Government’s scheme would “benefit” from the environment created by the Rwandan society and leadership, she said.

Ms Makolo continued: “As a society, and as a government, we have built a safe, secure, dignified environment, in which migrants and refugees have equal rights and opportunities as Rwandans.”

Rwanda, the government’s aide said, “remains fully committed to making this partnership work”. 

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The “broken global migration system”, she continued, doesn’t protect the vulnerable and only empowers smugglers, “at an immeasurable human cost”.

She concluded: “When the migrants do arrive, we will welcome them and provide them with the support they’ll need to build new lives in Rwanda.”

The latest twist in the long-running legal battle to get the migration scheme championed by Home Secretary Suella Braverman up and running saw Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett delivering the verdict on June 29.

While he said he doesn’t accept migrants would be at risk of removal to their home countries from Rwanda, with the ruling the court said the African nation isn’t a safe place for asylum seekers to be housed in while their claims are being processed. 

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He said: “The result is that the High Court’s decision that Rwanda was a safe third country is reversed, and unless and until the deficiencies in its asylum process are corrected, removal of asylum seekers will be unlawful.”

The judge stressed the ruling took “no view whatsoever” about the political merits of the policy.

While the three judges agreed unanimously the assurances on safety made by the Rwanda Government were made “in good faith”, the majority of the members of the court “believe that the evidence does not establish that the necessary changes had by then been reliably effected or would have been at the time of the proposed removals”.

The British Government wants to send tens of thousands of migrants to Rwanda as part of a £120m deal agreed with Kigali last year.

The plan found its first major bump in the road in June last year, when the first flight to Rwanda was stopped at the eleventh hour after an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The High Court had dismissed a series of legal bids launched by campaigners against the plan in late 2022.

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