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Tuesday, 16 August 2022
Rwanda hostel prepares to house children under controversial UK asylum-seeker deal
The Hope Hostel in Rwanda is preparing to host asylum seekers coming from the UK under a controversial deportation deal [Getty]

The hostel in Rwanda where Britain plans to send migrants under its controversial asylum-seeker deportation policy is preparing to house children, its manager said, with the prospect of youngsters being sent there with their parents.

The Hope Hostel, where the asylum seekers will stay for about nine months after they arrive, is currently building a mini football pitch and a basketball court, the Alaraby English reported, citing Reuters.

Elisee Kalyango, the manager of the hostel, told reporters the sports facilities are being built so children can be housed at the centre. During a visit there organised by the British government, he said they might buy outdoor toys to put on the grass nearby.

"We are ready to accept all ages," Kalyango told reporters travelling with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Rwanda for the Commonwealth summit.

Deportations to Rwanda are part of a deal struck by the British government, first announced in April, that would see asylum seekers who cross the English Channel being sent to the East African nation.

Britain has previously said no unaccompanied children will be deported to Rwanda, but the prime minister’s spokesman on the visit refused to rule out sending children to the facility with their parents.

He said: "We prepare for all eventualities, and you can see we have prepared properly.”

Boris Johnson: Ukrainians who come to UK illegally could be sent to Rwanda

The spokesman said the deportation policy would primarily impact male adults because they account for 90 percent of the asylum seekers who make the journey across the Channel on small boats.

Hope House had been home to a group of orphans of Rwanda's 1994 genocide, but they have been moved out for the arrivals from Britain.

Kalyango said about 20 people are employed to work at the hostel even though they do not currently have visitors.

 Source: alarabyenglish