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HomeUK NewsRwanda asserts no repayment clause in terminated migrant deal

Rwanda asserts no repayment clause in terminated migrant deal

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The Rwandan government has confirmed that there is no clause in the now-canceled migrant deal with the UK mandating the repayment of funds. This statement comes after the new Labor government, led by Prime Minister Keir Starmer, announced the end of the agreement.

Rwanda’s deputy government spokesperson, Alain Mukuralinda, clarified on state television, “The agreement we signed did not stipulate that we should return the money. Let this be clear, paying back the money was never part of the agreement.”

Britain had paid Kigali £240 million since the scheme was announced in April 2022. Rwandan president Paul Kagame had previously indicated that the money could be returned if no migrants were sent, but emphasized there was no obligation to do so.

The deal had faced numerous legal challenges in the UK, culminating in the Supreme Court ruling in November last year that it violated international law. Former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had pushed legislation to declare Rwanda a safe country, but the plan never got off the ground.

Starmer, after his party’s recent election victory, confirmed the plan’s cancellation, stating, “The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started. I’m not prepared to continue with gimmicks that don’t act as a deterrent.”

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Immigration has remained a contentious issue in UK politics, especially post-Brexit. Starmer has pledged to tackle the root causes of migration by targeting people-smuggling gangs.

Earlier on Tuesday, three asylum seekers who had contested the UK’s attempts to deport them to Rwanda saw their cases resolved. Rwanda has maintained that the partnership was initiated by the UK and was thoroughly discussed and amended through various legal processes.

Rwanda, often praised for its stability and infrastructure, has also faced criticism for its human rights record, with allegations of stifling dissent and free speech under Kagame’s administration.

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