Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Johnston Busingye has slammed relentless efforts by critics to blackmail the country in a bid to derail the UK-Rwanda Migration deal.
In a series of tweets ahead of the second legal challenge against the UK’s Home Office’s plans to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda, set to be heard in the country’s High Court this week, Busingye said that efforts to taint the partnership cannot replace the truth.
“The whole intent of the relentless disinformation and propaganda by media & individuals about Rwanda and the Migration and Economic Development Partnership with the UK remains baffling. The more it happens the more ugly underbellies are exposed,” Mr. Busingye tweeted.
A case in point he referred to a program run by BBC World Service that shared a long-debunked hoax that Rwanda has capacity to take only 200 migrants yet it had been explained before that that figure referred to one of many accommodation sites that could be used.
Soon after, Busingye said BBC would make a correction and affirm that Rwanda has the capacity to host more migrants.
Similarly, he said CNN ran an opinion piece by some ex-convict [Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza) which bizarrely linked her time in prison, as a convicted criminal, to the migration partnership.
“The opinion itself is full of lies but, please, the Migrants from the UK will not be criminal convicts enroute to any prison,” he said, adding that in a subsequent opinion piece, the claims were debunked by Olivier Mushimire.
“@OliverMushimire aptly responds to that someone else’s opinion signed off by the ex-convict. Strange that time served by a criminal convict gets fictionalised with intent to reduce a serious global challenge to click bait,” Busingye said, referring to the recently published article.
He pointed out that the witch-hunting and wild goose chasing are intended to distract from good information the public are entitled to, such as how migrants’ processes will be transparent and jointly oversighted.
He pointed out that when they arrive, they will be accommodated in good accommodations which have been inspected.
Peddling fake news
Busingye also referred to a piece published by Al Jazeera on October 6, by Ope titled “The Commonwealth will change after the Queen’s death”.
“Ope’s best example is that Prince Charles, as he then was, said the UK/Rwanda Migration Partnership is “appalling” – hoax from day 1 that never says when, where and to whom it was told,”
A now familiar, tiny troupe, on the fringe, actuated by primitive jealousy, carried forward vendettas…emerges from the woodwork prophesying doom ahead of every event in Rwanda,” Busingye said.
He said that as they do that they get widely known for the lies they peddle as the events happen and are highly successful.
“The truth is refugees, migrants… hosted in Rwanda build their lives the same way Rwandans do. Stereotypes and lies won’t alter this fact,” he added.
Busingye pointed out that there is nothing new or strange in respect to those coming under the UK/Rwanda partnership, citing some successful stories of migrants who moved to Rwanda and are doing great.
“Last year the School of Leadership Afghanistan, a girl’s boarding school, rapidly relocated 250 staff and students to Rwanda and restarted in Kigali,” he said, also referring to a Yemeni couple that has settled in Rwanda and are successful in the business.
He pointed out that Rwanda already hosts over 130, 000 refugees, including cohorts that get evacuated from Libya, in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and African Union.
“Rwanda is a force for good, partnering with the UK to find solutions to a global challenge, partner similarly, with others, in a range of areas including climate, health, conservation, education, security, technology and others,”
“Naysayers, you don’t have to choke on toxic info, switch!” Busingye said.
Despite the legal challenges, both Rwanda and the UK have vowed to forge ahead with the plan. This week the UK High Court will hear a petition filed by charity Asylum Aid.
It comes a month after a separate legal action against the policy was heard, which focused on challenging the Home Office’s assessment of Rwanda as a safe third country.
The latest action, starting on Thursday, centres instead on the legality of the procedure used by the Home Office to identify and assess people for removal to Rwanda.