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Rwanda: Inside the Kigali hotel set to receive expelled UK migrants

One of the 50 twin bedrooms set up to accommodate U.K. asylum seekers from the U.K. are expected to arrive in the next 10-12 weeks in Kigali, Rwanda, Wednesday, April 24, 2024   -  
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In Rwanda, overlooking the city in one of Kigali's leafy suburbs, a hotel by the name Hope Hostel has finally found purpose for opening its doors daily.

Asylum seekers in the UK are set to be expelled to the East African Nation and this hotel is set to be their new home.

The hotel has never had a customer since opening its doors two years ago.

The hotel's manager, Bakina Ismael said in an interview with The Associated Press that they have been ready to offer the best services to the asylum seekers for years now.

"When they arrive here at Hope Hostel, they will get different hospitality services," he said.

Previously, the hotel was known as the Association of Student Survivors of Genocide (AERG) hostel.

It was a safe haven to young people orphaned in the 1994 genocide, when up to 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

Rwanda’s government has often described the 100 bed capacity facility as a transit centre, the first of its kind.

They have been adamant that in the event of more deportations, the Rwandan government will build other similar centres.

British tax-payers' money has been funding the maintenance of the facility through a 462.7 million US dollar agreement signed by the two countries in 2022.

Rwanda has acknowledged receipt of some of the funds.

In an attempt to deter people from making the risky journeys, the UK government struck a deal with Rwanda in April 2022 to send migrants who arrive in the UK as stowaways or in boats to the East African country, where their asylum claims would be processed and, if successful, they would stay.

The British Parliament finally passed legislation to send some migrants to Rwanda, clearing the runway for flights this summer under the government's controversial plan to stop migrants crossing the English Channel from France to the UK in small boats.

Human rights groups and other critics of the plan say it is unworkable and unethical to send migrants to a country 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometres) away that they don’t want to live in.

No one has yet been sent to Rwanda, but British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said the first flights will leave in July.

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