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How the story of a Ghanaian engineer in Libya compelled Rwanda to sign asylum seekers’ deal with UK.



How the story of a Ghanaian engineer in Libya compelled Rwanda to sign asylum seekers’ deal with UK. 49



UK signs asylum seekers deal with Rwanda

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In April this year, the United Kingdom and Rwanda signed a deal for the transportation of asylum seekers in the UK to Rwanda.

The agreement, which had an initial financial commitment of £120m from the UK government, has been criticized by politicians and human right agencies across the world.

Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda has been criticized for entering into a deal which is a departure from the Pan-African values he espouses.

The loudening critics have compelled Kagame to come out and explain the thinking that went into signing the agreement.

Kagame disclosed that the idea is something he has been nurturing since 2018, after reading the story of a young Ghanaian engineer who go trapped in Libya.

Kagame who was then the chairperson of the African Union said that after reading the story about the struggles of the Ghanaian engineer, he felt compelled to take action to tackle the perennial problem.

“In 2018, I was the chair of the African Union. During that time there were so many stories of many young Africans perishing in big numbers in the Mediterranean. I remember reading a story of a Ghanaian engineer who happened to follow this path. There are networks of people who smuggle people from all over Africa to Europe.

“At that time, they were using Libya because of the state of the country. Hundreds if not thousands were trapped in Libya. So we were discussing this I asked why don’t we find a solution to this. I said let’s find ways to bring back those people trapped in Libya. I told them with all our weaknesses, they would live a better life in Rwanda if they are brought here than in Libya.

“I said we can do the following by ask these people if they want to return here or go back to their countries. I had read that story of the Ghanaian. He was educated and enlightened but I think he was disillusioned. He was an engineer but for some reason he wasn’t deployed so the people who do these things took him to Libya. In Libya, he found out he was stuck.

“He wasn’t going forward. He had paid an amount of money he got from his parents to the smugglers so he started negotiating with the smugglers to take him back to Ghana,” he said.

Paul Kagame assured that Rwanda will provide a comfortable life for the immigrants and ensure that their aspirations are achieved.

He explained that Rwanda will provide room for persons who intend to return to their respective countries to return.