Rwanda expressed disagreement on Wednesday with the British Supreme Court’s decision to overturn London’s strategy to relocate migrants to the East African nation, citing concerns about the country’s safety as an asylum destination.
A five-judge panel dismissed the controversial policy, affirming a prior court ruling that the proposal to send undocumented migrants to Rwanda was illegal and posed a genuine threat to the rights of asylum seekers under international law.
The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government had defended the initiative, arguing its significance in curbing “illegal” migration across the Channel and had appealed against the lower court’s decision.
“Rwanda acknowledges and respects this decision, but disagrees with the assertion that refugees or migrants relocated to Rwanda would be unsafe,” stated Alain Mukuralinda, the deputy spokesperson for the Rwandan government.
Kigali emphasized its commitment to international obligations and highlighted its acclaimed treatment of refugees, which has been recognized by the UN refugee agency and other international bodies.
In response to the ruling, Sunak announced that his government was in the process of negotiating a new treaty with Rwanda.
“If the British government presents a new agreement, it will be carefully reviewed in light of the court’s decision,” commented Mukuralinda.
Frank Habineza, leader of Rwanda’s opposition Green Party, welcomed the court’s verdict, asserting that Britain should not have sought to transfer its responsibilities elsewhere.