This Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta, and the Minister in charge of Emergency, Marie Solange Kayisire, met their Danish counterparts, Kaare Dybvad Beek, of Immigration and Integration, and Flemming Moller Mortensen, of Development Cooperation, to discuss ways of strengthening bilateral ties between both countries.
Rwanda and Denmark committed to strengthening bilateral dialogue and partnership in multiple areas, including supporting Rwanda’s economic ands social development in areas such as climate and environment, good governance, to the implementation of Rwanda’s progressive refugee policies.
The talks are in line with the two Memoranda of Understanding on Asylum and Migration Issues and Political Consultations signed in April 2021.
According to Biruta, both countries are in discussions of establishing a program through which asylum seekers arriving in Denmark from various parts of the world could be transferred to Rwanda but considering their asylum application, protection, and the option of settling in the country.
“We are discussing ways of solving the issue of illegal immigrants. Some people lose their lives attempting to go to Europe. The office will be established to facilitate the implementation of these partnership areas,” Biruta said.
“The issue causes many accidents. The project office will have diplomats to discuss and handle these issues.”
The two countries say that the irregular movements operated by human traffickers also affect the security situation in countries along the migration routes and risk undermining public trust in the international system for protection of refugees.
There is a need to address the root causes of irregular migration in countries of origin and transit, including the stark imbalance in human capital opportunities between Europe and Africa.
Flemming Møller Mortensen said that his country would learn from Rwanda’s refugee and asylum seekers program at Gashora Transit centre in Bugesera district.
Today, the dialogue between Denmark and Rwanda is still underway, and both parties have committed to continuing to explore the possibilities of entering a full implementation on these projects.
According to Flemming Møller Mortensen, before implementation, both countries will consult stakeholders including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Organization for Migration, African Union, and the European Commission.
“We are making further steps in green areas, migration, good governance and human rights. We are becoming more and more Specific,” Mortensen said.
According to the government of Denmark, getting asylum means that an applicant is given a residence permit as a refugee and is thus protected from being sent back to their home country.
An applicant can be granted asylum if they are at risk of persecution, torture, or other inhumane treatment in their home country.
However, in 2019, the Danish government notified about 1,200 refugees from the Damascus region (Syria) that their residency permits would not be renewed.
According to the reports, Denmark judged the region to be safe for refugees to return, but the decision to return them home was picked up by local and international media, sparking a public outcry.
Rwanda and Denmark will jointly reach out to relevant stakeholders, including UNHCR, IOM, the African Union and the European Commission, to facilitate international dialogue on the envisaged initiative for spontaneous asylum seekers.