If this is not an asylum policy, then why is Boris Johnson in Rwanda?


Oris Johnson does not plan to publicly acknowledge its weak flagship policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda on one-way tickets during a tour of the East African country.

The Prime Minister is choosing not to visit the centers from which the deportees will be kept if the scheme is scrapped.

But it would be difficult to ignore the policy in which the Prince of Wales is playing a key role in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in which they are both attending.

Charles has been criticized in private remarks as “horrific” sending people 4,000 miles after arriving in the UK via unauthorized travel.

Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial (Jonathan Brady / PA) / PA Wire

Mr Johnson will also meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who may have questions about why the agreed policy under the £ 120 million agreement with his nation is facing legal repercussions.

Here’s a look at why the prime minister is in Rwanda, what he hopes to achieve there, and the controversy surrounding the visit.

What is chewing gum?

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is usually held every two years but is being hosted in Kigali while the Corona virus is being held after a break due to epidemics.

This is an opportunity for the leaders of the 54 Commonwealth countries to discuss their common interests and make decisions about their future.

Therefore, it is somewhat coincidental that Mr Johnson is present at a time when his asylum policy is in decline in the UK, before a full ruling, thanks to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

Charles Kigali is in the capital, representing the Queen as head of the Commonwealth.

– What is the Prime Minister hoping to achieve?

Mr Johnson wants to focus on tackling food and energy insecurity caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with some Commonwealth countries particularly vulnerable.

Other key issues he wants to address are green economic growth, increasing girls’ education and increasing business opportunities.

In addition to the banquet and broader discussions with Commonwealth leaders, Mr. Johnson will hold one-on-one talks with key allies.

– What else will happen at the summit?

Mr Johnson wants to oust Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland (Stephen Russo / PA) / PA Archives

They may not be the ones to get the most attention, but they have to make important decisions about the future of the political association.

The next Secretary-General must be elected, and Mr Johnson is hoping to oust current Labor MP Baroness Scotland, who is running for a second term.

Instead, he backs Jamaican Foreign Minister Camina Johnson-Smith, and British officials are confident they will find their way.

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lamy criticized Mr Johnson, the current chair of the Commonwealth, for undermining the office’s “neutrality and confidentiality”.

No chair in the history of the Commonwealth has ever done so. This is inappropriate and divisive, “said the Labor MP.

Mr Johnson said Ms Johnson-Smith would have “extensive experience and co-operation to unite our unique family and take advantage of the opportunities ahead”.

Officials have privately criticized Baroness Scotland, questioning whether it has provided effective or unified leadership.

Leaders are also expected to recognize a new member state in the form of Togo, with Gabon likely to join. The UK supports the inclusion of both in the Commonwealth.

– What is the background of the tour?

Mr Johnson hoped that this would prevent the occasional deadly crossing of the English Channel, which carries thousands of people in small boats each year.

He hoped that the agreement reached with Kigali by Home Secretary Priti Patel would provide an incentive to travel, while those who make unauthorized crossings could seek asylum in Rwanda if approved. ۔

The government always knew it would face legal challenges, and the challenges eventually prevented the first flight from taking off last week.

The ministers had expected about 130 people on board, but legal challenges reduced it to seven or fewer on take-off day.

The European Court of Human Rights has since issued an interim injunction barring the deportation of an Iraqi refugee until a decision has been made in a British court on the legality of the government’s policy. Goes

A Strasbourg court removed two others from the plane, while the Supreme Court issued a restraining order preventing the immediate removal of three more.

The government is now trying to introduce a bill of rights that would confirm that measures taken on Rwanda policy are not binding on British courts.

Mr Johnson is expected to discuss the policy with Rwandan President Paul Kagame during a meeting in Kigali.

– Who is Paul Kagam?

Boris Johnson with Rwandan President Paul Kagam at Chogham in London in 2018 (Aaron Chauhan / PA) / PA Archives

Mr Kagame has been praised by the international community for his role in ending the genocide during the 1994 civil war.

In just 100 days, Hutu extremists slaughtered about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Houthis.

It ended when Kagali was captured by a rebel group from Mr Kagame’s Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF).

But since then, his government has been accused of political repression, alleged murder and imprisonment of critics.

Steve Valdez Symonds, Amnesty International’s director of refugee and immigration rights in the UK, accused the government of “effectively supporting the persecution of the people in Rwanda under President Kagame”.

He added that “no country should shift its asylum responsibilities to another, which is less even for a country like Rwanda which has a disturbing record of human rights, as well as It also has its own current large-scale asylum responsibilities, “he added.

“In recent years, Rwanda has seen a spate of enforced disappearances, numerous allegations of violence, excessive use of force by police, and serious violations of the right to a fair trial and freedom of expression.”

The prime minister’s official spokesman said he was expected to “raise human rights issues as he has done in the past”.

“We want Rwanda to uphold and support the values ​​of the Commonwealth, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. And we want appropriate action for all those detained and for the rule of law. We want fair and transparent application, ”the official added.

Mr Kagame himself wants to ask the prime minister why no asylum-seekers have arrived in Kigali two months after the agreement was signed.