Rwanda is a ‘very inspiring’ country that is ‘safe and secure’, says Suella Braverman


The Home Secretary told MPs that Rwanda – where ministers want to send migrants unlawfully crossing the Channel – was a “safe and secure country” that had been subject to a “rigorous” assessment by her officials.She said it was also being used by the UN to accommodate migrants under an EU funded scheme and that she had found it an “inspiring country” when she visited in 2010.Her comments came as Labour MP Diane Abbott highlighted a US State Department assessment that Rwanda engaged in arbitrary detention, torture, and abused fair trial standards, asking Ms Braverman if the American view was wrong.Ms Braverman replied: “I have actually visited Rwanda twice, around 2010/2009, and I’ve always found Rwanda to be a very inspiring country.Read More“We would only ever work with countries that we assess to be safe and that we assess will treat asylum seekers in accordance with relevant human rights law.”“it is fundamentally a safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers.”Ms Braverman added that she was confident that migrants could be sent to Rwanda despite the government’s failure so far in the face of legal challenges to achieve any removals.Her comment came as she also warned a hearing of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee that the “unprecedented” numbers of migrants coming across the Channel is making it “incredibly difficult” to find accommodation for asylum seekers.The Home Secretary told MPs there was “very limited housing stock” available for accommodating asylum seekers and that they were competing for places with prison leavers and people seeking social housing.She said this was why significant numbers of migrants had been detained beyond the normal 24 hour legal limit at the Manston processing centre in Kent.But she denied ignoring legal advice on the issue and insisted instead that she had always listened to and “taken into account” the law when making decisions about how to deal with the small boat crisis.Ms Braverman added that the blame for the problems – which led to around 4,000 migrants being held at Manston before the centre, which has a capacity of 1,600, was cleared this week – lay with the people smugglers bringing people across the Channel rather than ministers.The claims came as Ms Braverman came under heavy pressure from MPs over the government’s handling of the small boats and asylum issues during an appearance before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.Tory MP Tim Loughton highlighted the lack of options for vulnerable young migrants to claim sanctuary from Africa.He also questioned why other European countries, such as Germany, were refusing to accept asylum claims from Albanians, who have made up a large proportion of those arriving on small boats this year.