Following the unprecedented and extraordinary ouster of Prime Minister Boris Johnson by his own Conservative Party, one of his most important agreements to transfer asylum seekers who crossed the British Channel to the UK to Rwanda is presently not only in “disarray” but also in a “state of confusion”.
Hence, Senegambians who feared they may be transferred to Kigali from London to sort out their various asylum claims said they are cautiously optimistic that a “different deal” may now be struck in their favour.
It is reported in London that the current UK-Rwanda deportation project currently in the midst of a protracted legal battle is now in “disorder…and total chaos” as Boris Johnson finally bowed down and resigned.
Furthermore, credible news gathered also suggested that “some of the contestants vying for the position of new Prime Minister are not in favour of the UK-Rwanda deal…and that the agreement may be annulled all together” as the most respected candidates are declining to support it.
Consequently, trying to substantiate the authenticity of the reports, this correspondent contacted the offices of the most known contenders including Jeremy Hunt, who served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Sajid Javid Secretary of State for Health and Social Care; Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and Rishi Sunak Chancellor of the Exchequer for clarification.
Even though they are yet to deliver any official statement regarding the matter, “the agreement between London and Kigali regarding the issue continues to be unbroken…despite Boris Johnson’s resignation…”
Nonetheless, human rights bodies and respected legal practitioners are demanding from all the candidates to “reject a fragile agreement…and support the immediate rescinding and repealing of the London-Rwanda asylum agreement”.
Lawyers defending the refugees also claimed that “evidence of right violation and impunity in Rwanda is widely documented…”
In addition, they revealed that opponents of President Paul Kagame, a former rebel commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) are “still languishing in prison…and that the country is confronting a bitter dispute with neighboring DR Congo”.
Kinshasa accused Kigali of using the M23 rebels as a proxy against them. Thus, such development is “devastating and endangering civilians and other refugees. Kigali vehemently denied the allegations.
On his part, President Kagame who has been in power since 2000 and changed the county’s constitution for him to stay in power until 2034 has publicly announced that he will seek office for an extra 20 years. His statement further legitimizes the fears of the opponents of the asylum deal.
Meanwhile, according to official reports, the migrants intercepted trying to cross the Channel to the UK this year alone is estimated to be over 13,000 despite the removal, arrest and prosecution of ring leaders involved.