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Tuesday, 16 August 2022
Following Rwanda, Zambia might be the next destination for the one-way ticket!
 Zara Saleh1

Today June 14, the first deportation flight with a one-way ticket journey to Rwanda by Home Office's decision regarding people who illegally entered the United Kingdom will take place, while the government is setting a plan to schedule other flights to be sent to the African country. The decision has been made after the judge at the High Court refused the claim that had been held by campaign groups (Detention Action and Care4Calais) last Friday. Boris Johnson’s government has welcomed the High Court's decision as they consider Rwanda as a safe country and it is been "recognised for providing a safe haven for refugees" according to the UK Home Office Secretary.

Despite the UN refugee agency's concerns about the situation in Rwanda and also about the asylum seeker procedure there, it is been expected that up to 130 asylum seekers have been notified to be on this "trip" journey flight to Rwanda. The "safe" east African country is expected to host people from different conflict zones countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, and Eritrea. The recent Home Office's decision has been criticised by many human rights organisations, by the UK political parties’ opposition, and even by Prince Charles who described the government plan as an "appalling" plan regarding the sending the illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Rwanda's government agreement with the UK government (£120 million) as a first payment, has opened eyes for other African countries to seek such a plan with Boris Johnson's government and to join the UK deportation plans. For instance, it has been reported that the Zambian government is seeking to have a similar deal, like Rwanda's agreement, with the UK and Zambia might be the next destination for asylum seekers who have been illegally crossing the UK borders as the Zambian government have been willing to join the UK immigration programme.

Arguably, the UK's offshore scheme, for now, will cost the government £120 ($150.2 million), which will include the asylum seekers' process claim in Rwanda as well. The controversial decision has been heavily criticised by human rights organisations and activists as they claim that the east African country cannot be a safe place for refugees who fled from war zones and definitely wouldn't be the "promised land" as the Tories government expect that. According to many human rights resources, the political situation in Rwanda is unstable and some political activists and journalists are facing persecution, prison, and "even death". That is why the UK government should stop its plan for deportation to Rwanda and seek other alternative plans to save people's life and refugees who survived and fled their conflict countries and desire to be protected according to human rights conventions and treaties.

BY: Zara Saleh