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(May 3rd, 2024)

LONDON. In the end, Rishi Sunak did it: parliament gave the green light to the law that will allow the deportation of some thousand immigrants and refugees who entered the country illegally to Rwanda.

It took a parliamentary marathon that lasted several hours with the text going back and forth between the Commons and the Lords, but late during the night with 312 ayes and 237 noes the Lower House said the final words.

The Prime Minister promised that next July, the first planes will leave for Rwanda where President Paul Kagame is waiting for them to place them in some already built houses which Suella Braverman, former Home Secretary, defined during one of her visits as “really nice”.

The numerous appeals to withdraw from a project on which Sunak has bet to save both his administration and the Tory Party from sinking, given that he is clearly the underdog for the next general elections, have been of no avail.

The prime minister, who will face a difficult local vote on May 2nd, needed a success to avoid the outbreak of a conflict between the different currents of the Tories: the hard wing of the party had in fact threatened to blow up the government if the law had not been approved.

This plan, developed during Boris Johnson’s government, has been discussed in and around Westminster since 2022: the supreme court, as well as various civil society organisations, had ruled against its implementation.



There are two principles that characterize the approved provisions, according to the rewriting carried out by the Prime Minister:

1. Rwanda mustn’t relocate migrants;
2. the country of destination must be considered “safe”.

“The government – writes – has already rented charter planes for early summer transfers: around 350 seats. Immigrants on the list, only men over 40, who arrived in the UK after 1 January 2022, will be given limited notice. The associations are organizing themselves to help them file timely appeals. Among those invited to leave the British Isle there could also be Afghans, who arrived across the Channel to escape the Taliban, unable to prove that they collaborated with the western allies when they were in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021.”



Even though Mr. Sunak has thundered that the plan will go ahead “without ifs or buts” and that “No court will stop the deportations”, it is possible that appeals will be forwarded to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR): according to Mr. Michael O’Flaherty of the Council of Europe, the British law, in fact, raises “important critical issues” which do not only concern the protection of the human rights of asylum seekers but the “rule of law” itself, because it “limits the independence of judges.»

London is now raising the possibility of withdrawing from agreements and conventions signed or implemented in the past on the suggestions of previous British administrations, less influenced than this one by isolationism, xenophobia and Anglo-nationalism, ideologies that have influenced England and Wales, rather than Scotland and Northern Ireland , to vote in favor of Brexit.

However, the game may not be over and more than one twist could happen before the first plane headed for Kigali takes off.



After the enactment of the British law, Ireland plays the alarm: Dublin fears that migrants who should be deported will move to Ireland. For this reason, on April 30th Simon Harris’ government proposed a bill to the Dáil éirrean which provides for the expulsion of any defectors to UK.

thi Irish ppolice could be authorize to expell in Ulster those migrants which get in Ireland from that border: London reply that

1. the 1998 anglo-Irish agreements on Northern Ireland, none as the Good Friday agrreement, must be respected from the two sides;
it .nad sill enters e

2. UK hasn’t any obligation to welcome back the refugees expelled from Ireland.



The story of the deportation of refugees from Britain to Rwanda remember what happend in Europe between the 18th and 19th centuries: the Jailed people were deported by ships and sent overseas. In this way, lands such as Australia, which were believed that was uninhabited, were populated.

Rwanda, however, is not uninhabited: it currently has over 11 million people on an area of ??approximately 26,000 square kilometers.

Furthermore, the country is at the center of numerous conflicts in the Great Lakes region.

Kigali is accused by many of supporting the guerrilla warfare of the March 23rd Movement (M23) which operates mainly in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Large quantities of coltan, gold and other minerals flow into Rwanda, of which the country has become, together with Uganda, a strong exporter.

Internally, power is held by Paul Kagame, 66, President of the Republic since 2000 and strongman of the regime since 1994. Undisputed leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) on the one hand he has given a strong push to the development of the country, on the other things have hit the opponents hard with prison, exile, but also with killings and disappearances, as reported by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Exactly, thirty years after the genocide in which perhaps a million people lost their lives, that region of equatorial Africa is far from safe because many forces are at work there (it is said that in the DRC there are over 120 fighting groups) and what It’s calm today, it could explode in the near future.

But British conservatives doesn’t care: they want to demonstrate that they are doing something to limit the access to the islands of irregular migrants who nevertheless flock to the British coasts, relying on unstable boats that cross the Channel at night, starting from the French coasts.


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