Rwanda Responds to UK’s Plan to Cancel Migrant Deportation Agreement

The Government of Rwanda has responded to the British Government’s intention to cancel the agreement regarding the deportation of migrants who enter the UK illegally, reiterating its commitment to addressing the global refugee crisis.

A statement issued by the Government Spokesperson’s Office on July 8, 2024, confirmed Rwanda’s awareness of Britain’s plan to cancel the agreement, “as stipulated by the agreement approved by both Parliaments.” The statement emphasized that the partnership was initiated by the British Government to address the challenge of illegal immigration, which was a significant concern for the UK. “It is a British issue, not Rwanda’s,” the statement noted.

Despite this development, Rwanda has upheld its side of the agreement, including financial provisions, and remains dedicated to providing security, dignity, and opportunity for all refugees and immigrants entering the country. The resettlement agreement, first signed in April 2022 and renewed in December 2023, faced criticism from those concerned about Rwanda’s safety for refugees.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) previously challenged the implementation of the system, but British Parliament members empowered the government to disregard foreign court decisions. Following the resignation of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after the Conservative Party’s parliamentary election loss, his successor, Keir Starmer, promptly announced the suspension of the migrant deportation plan.