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March 5, 2024
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Rwandan High Commissioner In London Criticizes Uk's Human Rights Record And Migration Policies
Hon. Johnston Busingye - Minister of Justice/Attorney General makes an intervention at the National Umushyikirano Council | Kigali, 15 December 2016. - © Paul Kame | Flickr

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Rwandan High Commissioner in London Criticizes UK’s Human Rights Record and Migration Policies

In a recent development that has caused embarrassment for the British government, the high commissioner of Rwanda in London, Johnston Busingye, was secretly filmed criticizing the United Kingdom’s historic human rights record and expressing disagreement with its hardline interior minister’s stance on migration.

Johnston Busingye, a former Rwandan justice minister who now serves as Rwanda’s top diplomat in Britain, was covertly recorded by the campaign group Led By Donkeys, where he denounced London’s centuries-old human rights abuses while downplaying concerns about his own country’s contemporary record.

The UK government had entered into an “asylum partnership arrangement” with Rwanda, aiming to resettle thousands of migrants who regularly arrive in southeast England on small boats from northern France to the East African nation. However, this plan has faced widespread criticism from rights groups and others and is currently facing legal challenges in UK courts.

Interior Minister Suella Braverman has been at the center of controversy over migration, with her recent questioning of the suitability of the United Nations Refugee Convention for the modern age. Busingye, in the undercover recording, expressed his disagreement with the British government’s stance on migrants, stating that they were “absolutely wrong.” He emphasized the need for a long-term policy that would provide alternatives for people to avoid risking their lives in their attempts to reach the UK, highlighting that migrants were driven by hopelessness and a lack of future prospects.

Busingye further criticized Britain’s historical imperial legacy, stating that it was immoral for the country to perceive itself as a refuge, protection, and compassion provider while disregarding its history of enslaving millions of people for 400 years and causing devastation in India, China, and Africa.

The British government, including Suella Braverman, has repeatedly asserted that Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the world to send asylum-seekers and refugees, despite evidence of ongoing rights abuses in the country. In the covertly filmed conversation, Busingye appeared to dismiss concerns about previous incidents involving the killing of refugees in Rwanda casually.

The revelations from the covert recording have further intensified the scrutiny and debate surrounding the UK government’s migration policies and its relationship with Rwanda. Critics argue that the focus should be on addressing the root causes of migration and creating sustainable solutions, rather than relying on partnerships that raise concerns about human rights and accountability.

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