Home News Rwanda Says It Will Not Refund £270 million For UK Refugee Scheme

Rwanda Says It Will Not Refund £270 million For UK Refugee Scheme

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The Rwanda government has said it will not refund any or all of the £270 million it received from the British government for a refugee programme that has now been cancelled.

The United Kingdom had signed an agreement with Rwanda authorities for the implementation of a Migration and Economic Development Partnership, in which asylum seekers who migrated illegally into the UK would be deported to Rwanda.

However, following the defeat of the Conservatives party in the last UK general elections, the new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer of the Labour Party, announced a cancellation of the programme.

The UK has already paid £270 million to Rwanda as part of the deal, but not a single dispatch of migrants has been forcibly deported there. Although four asylum seekers have voluntarily flown to the East African country from UK after they were offered £3,000 to do so.

Dr Doris Uwicyeza Picard, of the Rwandan ministry of justice, said on Tuesday that Britain will not get any refund as a refund was not part of the deal.

She added that Kigali had upheld its side of the deal and the cancellation was a “UK problem”.

Speaking with the BBC World Service, she said, “We are under no obligation to provide any refund. We will remain in constant discussions. However, it is understood that there is no obligation on either side to request or receive a refund.”

The deal, which is a five-year agreement, reportedly required a three-month notice before termination. But such notice was not given before it was scrapped. Although, Dr Picard said Rwanda had “taken note” of Starmer’s decision.

Speaking further, Dr Picard said: “We were informed of the UK’s decision. We take note of the UK’s decision to terminate the agreement. 

“We just want to reiterate that this was a partnership initiated by the UK to solve a UK problem and Rwanda stepped up, as we have always stepped up in the past, to provide safety, refuge and opportunities to migrants.

“Rwanda has maintained its side of the agreement, and we have ramped up capacity to accommodate thousands of migrants and asylum seekers. We have upheld our end of the deal.

“We have put in a lot of effort and resources to accommodate those migrants. We understand that changes in government happen and incoming governments have different priorities and different policies, ” she added. 

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