The Rwandan government said Wednesday it was “not discouraged” by the cancellation of a flight to deport migrants from the United Kingdom to Rwanda the day before because of legal challenges, and that it remained “committed” to the partnership.
“We are not discouraged by these developments. Rwanda remains fully committed to working to make this partnership work,” government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo told AFP.
“The current situation, in which people are making dangerous journeys, cannot continue as it is causing untold suffering to so many people,” she added. “Rwanda stands ready to welcome the migrants when they arrive and to offer them safety and opportunities in our country.”
A first flight was due to take off from Britain to the East African country on Tuesday night, but it was cancelled following a last-minute ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
With its plan to send asylum seekers who arrived illegally in the UK to the East African country, more than 6,000 km from London, the government claims to be curbing illegal crossings of the English Channel, which have continued to rise despite its repeated promises to control immigration since the Brexit.
The policy has been called “immoral” by church leaders in England and strongly criticized by the U.N. refugee agency and rights groups.
The British government on Tuesday night showed its resolve. “We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and implementing our plans to control our country’s borders,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said, adding that the government’s legal team is “reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.”