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The Inclusion of Rwanda as a Potential Relocation Destination for Migrants Raises Eyebrows

Rwanda – one of two African countries to which the UK government is reportedly considering sending asylum seekers for resettlement and processing – was previously embroiled in a highly controversial migrant deportation scheme involving Israel. Although few details have emerged after a report in the Times that migrants could be sent to Ghana and Rwanda, Rwanda’s previous involvement in receiving African deportees from Israel raises serious concerns over whether – even with UK funding – it has the resources or even willingness to host deportations. The suggestion that people could be sent to the two African countries was included in proposals reportedly under consideration by British ministers, which also include using the armed forces to push back small boats crossing the Channel. Of about 4,000 people estimated to have been deported by Israel to Rwanda and Uganda under a “voluntary departure” scheme between 2014 and 2017, almost all are thought to have left the country almost immediately, with many attempting to return to Europe via people-smuggling routes.