Sunak to give Rwanda £50m if deportation bill passed into law

Following the passing of the ‘safety of Rwanda’ Bill … and no ICIBI to oversee what is happening!

30 April: Guardian: Rwandan opposition leader voices doubts Kigali will stick to UK asylum deal

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza says her banning shows Rwandan government does not adhere to international law

A Rwandan opposition leader who has been banned from standing for election has cast doubt on whether her government will stick to the terms of the deportation deal agreed with Rishi Sunak.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza told the Guardian that the Rwandan government’s refusal to allow her to stand or leave the country to see her ill husband showed that the government under Paul Kagame did not adhere to international law.

On Tuesday, she launched a claim in the east African court of justice, saying she should be allowed to oppose the president in July’s general election.

In the UK, Sunak has been building towards operationalising plans to forcibly remove UK asylum seekers to Rwanda.

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28 April 2024: Guardian: Home Office to detain asylum seekers across UK in shock Rwanda operation

Exclusive: Operation comes weeks earlier than expected and is thought to have been timed to coincide with local elections

The Home Office will launch a surprise operation to detain asylum seekers across the UK on Monday, weeks earlier than expected, in preparation for their deportation to Rwanda, the Guardian can reveal.

Officials plan to hold refugees who turn up for routine meetings at immigration service offices and will also pick people up nationwide in a major two-week exercise.

They will be immediately transferred to detention centres, which have already been prepared for the operation, and held to be put on flights to Rwanda, including the first one due to take off this summer. Others identified for these flights are already being held.

It is thought the move’s launch has been timed to coincide with Thursday’s local council elections in England, to boost Rishi Sunak’s claims he is cracking down on illegal migration.

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15 April 2024: Guardian: Sunak to give Rwanda £50m if deportation bill passed into law

MPs voted through plans on Monday and bill is expected to become law within days

Rajeev Syal Home affairs editorMon 15 Apr 2024 22.51 BSTShare

Rishi Sunak will hand over £50m to Rwanda as soon as his flagship deportation bill is passed into law, it emerged on Monday.

On Monday night, MPs voted through plans to forcibly send asylum seekers to east Africa if they arrived in the UK via small boats. The bill, one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed in decades, is expected to pass into law at some point this week after further criticisms and amendments in the Lords.

It comes after the number of people travelling by small boat to seek asylum in the UK hit a new daily record in 2024 of 534 people on Sunday. The deal will cost UK taxpayers about £1.8m for each asylum seeker, according to Whitehall’s official auditor, although no one has so far been deported.

Appearing before the public accounts committee, Matthew Rycroft, the Home Office’s permanent secretary, said ministers would hand over the payment to the Rwandan government “as soon as we have royal assent”.

The safety of Rwanda bill, which seeks to limit legal challenges by asylum seekers selected for deportation, was brought forward after Rwanda was ruled to be unsafe for asylum seekers by the supreme court.

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