Rwanda hits back at criticism of immigration plan: 'People should come and see'

Rwanda hits back at criticism of immigration plan: 'People should come and see'
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Aden-Jay Wood

By Aden-Jay Wood

Published: 17/06/2022

- 14:32

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:59

Yolande Makolo said "Rwanda has made tremendous progress" as she hit back at criticism

Rwanda has hit back after plans to send migrants to the African country was slammed.

The UK Government announced a scheme to use Rwanda in order to process migrants, with critics slamming the idea given the country’s human rights record.

Among those to criticise the idea include Prince Charles who is reported to have said in private that the Government's Rwanda plan is "appalling".

Yolande Makolo, spokeswoman for the Rwandan government, leads a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kigali, Rwanda. Picture date: Tuesday June 14, 2022.
Victoria Jones

But Yolande Makolo, A Rwandan Government spokesperson has urged people to “come and see” Rwanda before jumping to conclusions.

Ms Makolo tweeted: “The narrative that living in Africa is a punishment is insulting for those who live here and are working hard to build our countries.

“We want Africa to succeed. Rwanda has made tremendous progress. People should come and see.”

The first flight to Rwanda was due to take off on Tuesday, but it was cancelled at the 11th-hour following a legal challenge from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the ECHR's intervention as “very surprising”, adding that “many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel
Home Secretary Priti Patel
Danny Lawson

She said the Home Office legal team is reviewing “every decision made on this flight”, and that preparation for the next flight “begins now”.

Following the grounding on Tuesday night, Ms Patel said: “Earlier this year, I signed a world-leading Migration Partnership with Rwanda to see those arriving dangerously, illegally, or unnecessarily into the UK relocated to build their lives there.

“This will help break the people smugglers’ business model and prevent loss of life, while ensuring protection for the genuinely vulnerable.

“Access to the UK’s asylum system must be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers.

“The demands on the current system, the cost to the taxpayer, and the flagrant abuses are increasing, and the British public have rightly had enough.

“I have always said this policy will not be easy to deliver and am disappointed that legal challenge and last-minute claims have meant today’s flight was unable to depart.

“It is very surprising that the European Court of Human Rights has intervened despite repeated earlier success in our domestic courts.

“These repeated legal barriers are similar to those we experience with other removals flights and many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next.

“We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders.

“Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.”

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