KIGALI– Rwanda has agreed to host migrants to be relocated from the United Kingdom, under the Rwanda-UK Migration and Economic Development Partnership initiative, the government announced Thursday.
In a statement, Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said the partnership will address the urgent humanitarian crisis by tackling its roots.
Under the program, migrants will be integrated into communities across the East African country, where they will be entitled to full protection under Rwandan law, equal access to employment, and enrolment in healthcare and social care services, according to the statement.
Also, the UK’s upfront investment of 120 million pounds will fund opportunities for Rwandans and migrants, including secondary qualifications, vocational and skills training, language lessons, and higher education, it said.
“There is a global responsibility to prioritize the safety and well-being of migrants, and Rwanda welcomes this partnership with the United Kingdom to host asylum seekers and migrants, and offer them legal pathways to residence.
“This is about ensuring that people are protected, respected, and empowered to further their own ambitions and settle permanently in Rwanda if they choose,” Biruta said.
Rwanda, with its “open policy,” in 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Refugee Agency, and the African Union to set up an emergency transit mechanism for refugees and asylum seekers evacuated from Libya.
Under the agreement, a total of 824 evacuees were received in the first seven batches, according to the Ministry in charge of Emergency Management. Among them, 565 were resettled to third countries, the ministry said last month.
The plan by the UK to relocate asylum seekers to Africa came amid criticism from some British opposition politicians and refugee groups who have condemned it as inhumane and ill-conceived. – Xinhua