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'Thousands of asylum seekers will be taken in from UK', Rwandan Govt tells LBC, but criminals will be sent back
5 December 2023, 19:07 | Updated: 5 December 2023, 19:14
The Rwandan government has told LBC it is willing to take thousands of asylum seekers from the UK.
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Speaking to LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, spokesperson for the Rwandan Government Yolande Makolo dismissed what she described as the 'misinformation' surrounding the number of people Rwanda can accommodate, insisting there is "no limit".
Ms Makolo also said it is true to say that there is one facility in Rwanda that can only take 200 asylum seekers, though added there are "many facilities" that can take migrants from the UK.
There are more than 130,000 migrants waiting for their asylum application to be accepted in the UK. Ms Makolo could not confirm an exact amount, but added: "We are prepared to take thousands over the duration of this partnership."
While Rwanda has insisted it will take thousands of migrants from the UK, any asylum seeker that is convicted of a crime in the African nation - and is sentenced to five or more years - will have their right to stay revoked following their time in prison.
The same rules will apply to anyone who is considered to be a national security threat by the Rwandan government, The Telegraph reports.
The Home Office has said any only a small number of asylum seekers are likely to be sent back to the UK and insisted they could still be returned to their point of origin if it is considered to be a safe country.
Rwanda government's spokesperson Yolande Makolo says there's 'no limit' on amount of refugees Rwanda
The Home Secretary today said no longer sees a "credible reason" why UK courts could deem Rwanda an unsafe country for asylum seekers.
This view is driven by the fact that Rwanda has agreed that no asylum seeker sent from the UK will be sent to any other nation other than back to Britain.
It comes after James Cleverly described a new migration treaty with Rwanda as far more ‘robust’ than previous proposals.
Mr Cleverly said during a press conference held in the African nation that “we feel very strongly that this treaty addresses all the issues raised by their lordships in the Supreme Court.
“We are absolutely committed to breaking the business model of these people-smuggling gangs, to create a safe and welcoming environment with our friends and partners in Rwanda.”
He said no extra money was linked to the signing of the new document."
The funding of the international agreement reflects the costs that may be imposed on Rwanda through the changes that this partnership has created in their systems, in their legal systems and institutions," he said.
Mr Cleverly also refused to confirm whether flights to Rwanda will take off before the next general election.