From this morning’s FT newsletter, written by Stephen Bush:
The British government’s Rwanda policy continues to be a great piece of statecraft: by Paul Kagame, that is. He has essentially bought the government’s Africa policy with £120mn of the UK’s own money — paid by the British government to the Rwandan one — before a single deportation flight has left the UK for the African nation. He can look forward to much more money if — though it is a very big “if” — the UK government ever manages to implement the policy. It will seek permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s latest ruling at the Supreme Court.
Last week the US and the EU called on Rwanda to cease its alleged support for M23, the militia that re-emerged in 2021 to wage an offensive in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The US, EU and the DRC all say the group is backed by Kagame’s government. (The FT’s East and Central Africa bureau chief Andres Schipani reports from Nairobi on all that here.) But, because of the deal struck with Kigali, the UK has said nothing at all.
The scheme to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is working rather less well for Rishi Sunak. The number of people coming to the UK via small boats isn’t being eased, and now the Court of Appeal has ruled that the scheme is unlawful, on the grounds that Rwanda is not a safe third country.
How could it be otherwise? How can a country that is accused of waging a proxy war via a militia, of arresting opposition politicians on false pretexts, and of assassinating its opponents on foreign soil be anything other than unsafe?