Rwanda Resists Reimbursement of UK Deportation Deal Funds

Rwanda has indicated it will not refund the over $300 million received from the United Kingdom for its controversial asylum seeker deportation agreement. This stance comes in response to newly-elected British Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s announcement to scrap the deal, which aimed to send asylum seekers deemed to have entered the UK illegally to Rwanda.

Rwandan government spokesperson Alain Mukuralinda emphasized that the international agreement contained no clause regarding reimbursement. The UK has already paid Rwanda £240 million (approximately $307 million) as part of the arrangement initiated in April 2022 under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government.

In his first press conference as prime minister, Starmer labeled the scheme a “gimmick” and denied its effectiveness as a deterrent. The plan has faced numerous legal and political challenges since its inception, with lawmakers and activists opposing it on human rights grounds.

International organizations, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Amnesty International, have condemned the policy. Critics argue it undermines international cooperation on refugee protection and sets a worrying global precedent.

As the UK government shifts its stance on immigration policy, the financial implications of the abandoned deal and its impact on international relations remain uncertain. The situation highlights the complexities of cross-border agreements on asylum and migration issues.

About Geraldine Boechat 2762 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia