UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said asylum seekers would have the chance to build a new life “in that dynamic country” when announcing the Rwanda scheme in April.
The East African republic is home to approximately 13 million people and is bordered by Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi.
However, Rwanda has a troubled history and was the site of one of the most brutal genocides in history.
The United Nations estimates that the tragic events of the Tutsi genocide in 1994 killed over one million people.
Rwanda established a special branch of government to work with border control and police forces around the world to find genocide suspects as a result of its violent past.
The country has also spent years improving political ties with Western countries, and in 2009 it joined the Commonwealth, whose Head is the Queen.
According to experts, the agreement demonstrates that the United Kingdom and Rwanda have found common ground on immigration policy.
Nicola Palmer, a Reader in Criminal Law at King’s College London, Rwanda benefits from the migration agreement with the UK.
Dr Palmer wrote on Oxford University’s Border Criminologies blog that the agreement “offers [Rwanda] opportunities for leverage with powerful states.”
Rwanda has also served as a destination for refugees fleeing conflict in other African countries.
Following volcanic eruptions in the border town of Goma in May of last year, thousands of refugees entered Rwanda from Congo.
However, international organisations are concerned about the treatment of asylum seekers in the country.
Amnesty International’s 2021 report on Rwanda cited allegations of torture as well as violations of the right to a fair trial and freedom of expression.
It also stated that the country has continued to use enforced disappearances, and that many cases of people going missing remain unsolved.
These are the issues that opponents of the policy claim should prevent any further deportations to Rwanda.
The flurry of legal challenges reached highpoint yesterday when courts ruled against the asylum seekers deportation plan.
Combating rising immigration is one of the government’s top priorities, and the agreement with Rwanda is intended to reduce border crossings across the English Channel.
Landings from France continue to occur, with 138 people detected in small boat crossings on Monday alone.
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