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Rwanda Immigrant Evacuation Plan |  A “good investment” according to Rishi Sunak

Rwanda Immigrant Evacuation Plan | A “good investment” according to Rishi Sunak

(LONDON) British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday his plan to expel irregular migrants to Rwanda was “a good investment”, even as the public spending watchdog warned of huge costs for the system.

Conservative Rishi Sunak has made the highly controversial plan a pillar of his policy to fight illegal immigration and hopes to implement it before legislative elections scheduled for this year. In mid-January, he called it an “urgent national priority.”

The current bill, criticized by both the United Nations and the Anglican Church, was drafted in response to the British Supreme Court ruling in mid-November that it was illegal to send migrants to Rwanda, deeming the country unsafe. .

The government has not released the total cost of the scheme, but according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO), the public expenditure watchdog, it could be more than £500 million.

“The UK Government will provide £370 million under the UK-Rwanda partnership, a further £20,000 per person and £120 million once the first 300 people are relocated, and £150,874 per person for processing and operating costs,” the NAO sums up. .

The UK will pay £1.8 million to the first 300 migrants deported.

The Labor Party was quick to cry “national corruption”, “failure”.

For his part, Rishi Sunak affirmed that the project was “a good investment”. “We need a deterrent effect to stop the influx of migrants. We have to say that if you come here illegally, you cannot stay, we can deport you to a safe country,” he added.

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Rwanda presents itself as one of the most stable countries on the African continent, but many human rights groups accuse President Paul Kagame of ruling in an environment of fear, dissent and stifling freedom of expression.

Paul Kagame has been the de facto leader of this small country in the Great Lakes region since the end of the Tutsi genocide in 1994. He returned to power in the 2003, 2010 and 2017 elections with more than 90% of the vote. During his years in power, many opponents, including those within his party, were jailed, killed or exiled.