Rwanda expects the first group of 50 asylum seekers to be transferred from the United Kingdom by the end of May, a government spokesperson has said.
In April, the UK government announced plans to send people seeking asylum to the East African country. But earlier this month, it said it expected lawyers to lodge claims to prevent their removal.
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“According to the information we have, the first batch of migrants will arrive by the end of the month,” Rwanda’s deputy government spokesman Alain Mukurarinda said on Thursday. “But … it is the British government that knows how many will come and when they will come.”
In April, both countries signed a controversial immigration deal to take those who enter the UK illegally to the eastern African state. For its part in the scheme, Rwanda will net $158m.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) condemned the scheme as an “egregious breach of international law” and “contrary to the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention”.
Other Western countries like Denmark are also considering similar deals with Rwanda.