Rwanda Won’t Guarantee How Many Migrants It Will Take From UK

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The Rwandan government won’t guarantee how many migrants it can take from the UK if flights start to depart.

Government spokesperson, Yolande Maloko stated this in an interview with a BBC correspondent on Sunday.

It would be recalled that British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has promised that migrants arriving in the UK without permission will be sent to Rwanda rather than allowed to claim asylum in the UK.

Around 52,000 have come to the UK since the law was changed in 2023 and are in line for deportation.

Rwanda has signed a five-year deal with the UK, with costs estimated to be at least £300 million already.

Last month the prime minister’s plans for the UK to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda passed Parliament.

Speaking on 22 April, Mr Sunak said the first flight to Rwanda would leave in 10 to 12 weeks. Previously, the government said it aimed to start the flights in spring.

Mr Sunak said there would be “multiple flights a month through the summer and beyond”.

When Parliament approved the legislation, according to the Home Office 52,000 asylum seekers could potentially be sent to Rwanda.

But, speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Rwanda’s government spokesperson Yolande Maloko said: “I cannot tell you how many thousands we’re taking in the first year or in the second year.”

But, when asked if Rwanda could accommodate all of the people in the current backlog.

“This will depend on very many factors that are being worked out now,” Ms Maloko said.

Pressed to give a commitment on the number that could be given homes in Rwanda Ms Makolo said “We are ready”.

But, she would not give an assurance it would be able to take the 52,000 people the UK would like to send, merely saying it would be “thousands”.

Ministers have said repeatedly they want the notion of being sent to Rwanda to be a deterrent for those trying to come to the UK.

But, Ms Makolo said Rwanda had been “attacked unjustly”.

“Living in Rwanda is not a punishment. It is a beautiful country, including the weather,” she added.