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UK home secretary visits Rwanda to discuss migration deal

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-19 06:12

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman walks with Paul Rwigamba, Director of Projects and Property Management and Flora Uwayezu, Project Sales of the Century Real Estate group during a tour in Kigali, Rwanda, March 18, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

KIGALI - Suella Braverman, home secretary of the United Kingdom, arrived in Rwanda on Saturday for a two-day visit, the Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

Braverman is expected to hold talks with Rwandan government officials on the UK migration deal aimed at sending refugees and asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Upon arrival in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, Braverman headed to the Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay respects to victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group. She later toured Bwiza Riverside Estate in the capital, one of the residences supposed to provide accommodation for refugees, according to the ministry.

The UK reached a deal with Rwanda in April 2022, under which illegal immigrants and asylum seekers are sent to the East African country to have their claims processed there. The British government hoped the deal will help deter migrants from making the risky journey across the English Channel on small boats.

The Rwandan government has said the deal, formally called Rwanda-UK Migration and Economic Development Partnership initiative, is in line with Rwanda's "quest to contribute innovative, long-term solutions to the global migration crisis."

Last December, judges at the UK's High Court ruled that the government's plan to send asylum-seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda is lawful, but they also criticized the government for failing to properly assess the circumstances of the eight individuals it tried to move under the scheme earlier that year.

More than 44,000 migrants were reported to have arrived in the UK across the channel last year.

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