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Rwanda Accuses UN Refugee Agency of Fabricating Claims in Asylum Case

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Ayize claire

Jun 12, 2024

UNHCR's Allegations of Refoulement Disputed by Rwandan Government

Rwanda has accused the United Nations refugee agency of lying during a British court case regarding the deportation of asylum seekers to the country. The Rwandan government claims that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) misled the court by suggesting that asylum seekers sent to Rwanda could be relocated to countries where they might face torture or death.

UNHCR's Allegations

On Monday, UNHCR lawyers argued that Rwanda's asylum system was insufficient, raising concerns about the possibility of refoulement—a practice where individuals are sent to countries where they could face serious harm. This argument echoed the UK Supreme Court's previous ruling, which found the British government's deportation plan unlawful.

Rwanda's Response

Rwanda's government spokesperson released a statement on Tuesday refuting the UNHCR's claims, accusing the agency of fabricating allegations. The spokesperson highlighted the irony of the UNHCR's accusations, noting that the agency collaborates with Rwanda to resettle African migrants from Libya.

"UNHCR is lying,"  The spokesperson stated that cases mentioned by UNHCR involved individuals with legal status elsewhere or those who left Rwanda voluntarily.

British Government's Plans

Despite the ongoing legal battle, Britain announced that the first flight carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda is scheduled for July 24. However, this plan is contingent on the outcome of the national elections on July 4, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservatives needing a victory to proceed.

The opposition Labour Party, which leads by approximately 20 points in opinion polls, has pledged to cancel the deportation plan if elected.

The first flight from the UK to Rwanda is scheduled for July 24, contingent on the Conservative Party winning the national elections on July 4. However, the Labour Party, leading in polls, has promised to cancel the plan if elected.

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