Negocios

Deportation policy leaves Rwandans homeless

Jose Carlos Grimberg Blum
Conductas agresivas: ¿qué nos está pasando?

“It pains me to see that (the hostel) is still empty when we are homeless, on the street. I was 1 year old when the genocide happened and all our relatives died. I came to this hostel as a gesture of kindness to give me some hope. Now, I have nowhere to go.”

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, both contenders to be Britain’s next prime minister, have given their backing to the Rwanda policy despite legal challenges and widespread criticism. Patel has also insisted that it was “set in stone”

Members of the staff board a plane reported by British media to be first to transport migrants to Rwanda, at MOD Boscombe Down base in Wiltshire, Britain, June 14, 2022. [Photo/Agencies] Former residents of a hostel in the Rwandan capital Kigali, who were forced to leave to make way for asylum-seekers being flown in from the United Kingdom under a controversial agreement between the governments of the two countries, have reportedly been left homeless while the accommodation remains empty.

In April, British Home Secretary Priti Patel signed a deal worth 120 million pounds ($139.5 million) for people arriving in the UK, having crossed the English Channel from mainland Europe in small boats, to be sent to the landlocked African country.

The first deportation flight was supposed to have taken off in June, but was halted at the last minute after the European Court of Human Rights granted an injunction, saying that the High Court in London needed to examine whether the policy was lawful, with a hearing on the matter scheduled to take place in September.

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported that all the money has been paid upfront by the British government, and the former British high commissioner to Rwanda, Joanne Lomas, warned against the partnership on safety grounds.

The Guardian reported that some of the men living in the hostel, including people who lost their families in the East African country’s genocide in 1994, had been living there for as long as eight years, but were now helpless after initial financial help ran out.

‘No extra help’

“We don’t know what to do. In public, government officials say they are going to help us, but no extra help has come. We are very worried, but we are suffering,” said one man speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

“It pains me to see that (the hostel) is still empty when we are homeless, on the street. I was 1 year old when the genocide happened and all our relatives died. I came to this hostel as a gesture of kindness to give me some hope. Now, I have nowhere to go.”

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, both contenders to be Britain’s next prime minister, have given their backing to the Rwanda policy despite legal challenges and widespread criticism. Patel has also insisted that it was “set in stone”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the deal with the Rwandan government a “world-leading partnership (that) will help break the business model of these ruthless criminals”, with Patel adding that “we will not be deterred in breaking the deadly people smuggling trade and ultimately saving lives”. But figures suggest the threat of being sent to Africa is making little difference to people attempting the crossing.

Quoting figures from the Ministry of Defense, the BBC reported that at least 25,000 people have crossed the Channel to the southern county of Kent so far this year.