Rwanda has hit back at British left-wingers for their ‘insulting’ criticism of a plan to fly asylum seekers to the country.
Government spokesperson Yolande Makolo warned people should ‘come and see’ the progress Rwanda has made before passing judgement on the asylum plan.
She was responding to critics who have branded Rwanda unfit to host asylum seekers because of the country’s human rights record. Opponents have also argued that it is illegal and inhumane to send people thousands of miles to a country they do not want to live in.
Makolo tweeted: ‘The narrative that living in Africa is a punishment is insulting for those who live here and are working hard to build our countries.
‘We want Africa to succeed. Rwanda has made tremendous progress. People should come and see.’
Makolo made the comments alongside a clip of South African comedian Trevor Noah speaking on his US satirical news show, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central, criticising the backlash to the asylum plan on Thursday’s show.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an agreement with Rwanda in April in which people who enter Britain illegally will be deported to the East African country.
In exchange for accepting them, Rwanda will receive millions of pounds in development aid. The deportees will be allowed to apply for asylum in Rwanda, not Britain.
Government spokesperson Yolande Makolo warned people should ‘come and see’ the progress Rwanda has made before passing judgement on the asylum plan
Makolo made the comments alongside a clip of South African comedian Trevor Noah criticising the backlash to the asylum plan
A security guard stands in the reception area of the Hope Hostel, which is one of the locations expected to house some of the asylum-seekers due to be sent from Britain to Rwanda
Noah said: ‘I know some parts of Africa have it tough, but we’ve also have cities, we’ve have Wifi, you know, we’ve also got racist white people. You guys left them behind! Acting like we don’t got sh*t.
‘Some of these Europeans think the only hotel in Rwanda is the Hotel Rwanda. Actually, they’ve got a Radisson, a Radisson Blu, by the way. There’s a waffle bar and everything.
‘This is the problem. This is the problem when only one well known movie takes place in your country. It’s all the people go on. It’s like judging France based on Ratatouille. Not all the restaurants are run by rats!
‘Because here Rwanda was trying to do something nice. And then, now they have to hear everyone talk sh*t about them?
‘Imagine if you offered to donate a kidney to someone and then the person was like “Uh, no thank you, I’m going to see if there’s a more developed kidney.” I’d be like “Man, go pee blood then, b*tch”.’
It comes after the first flight that was scheduled to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda from the UK was cancelled late on Tuesday after the European Court of Human Rights intervened, saying the plan carried ‘a real risk of irreversible harm.’
The decision to scrap the flight capped three days of frantic court challenges from immigrant rights lawyers who launched a flurry of case-by-case appeals seeking to block the deportation of everyone on the government’s list.
British government officials had said earlier in the day that the plane would take off no matter how many people were on board. But after the appeals, no one remained. British media reported that the number of potential deportees had been more than 30 on Friday.
After the flight was canceled, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was disappointed but would not be ‘deterred from doing the right thing.’ She added: ‘Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had emphatically defended Britain’s plan, arguing that it is a legitimate way to protect lives and thwart the criminal gangs that smuggle migrants across the English Channel in small boats.
Britain in recent years has seen an illegal influx of migrants from such places as Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Iraq and Yemen.
A convoy believed to be carrying asylum seekers leaves MOD Boscombe Down after a private charter jet was grounded just before it was due for take-off to Rwanda tonight
Crew members board the Rwanda deportation flight Boeing 767 at Boscombe Down Air Base. Legal wrangling continued throughout Tuesday evening before the first flight due to take UK asylum seekers to Kigali was dramatically grounded
A tracker for the Rwanda deportation flight shows the aircraft’s journey after it departed the UK without carrying any of the seven asylum seekers who were due to board
Home Secretary Priti Patel issued a strongly-worded rebuttal of the Strasbourg judge’s ruling, saying she was disappointed the flight to Rwanda was not able to leave but would not be ‘deterred from doing the right thing’
Protesters gathered outside Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre in Heathrow and lay on the ground in an effort to halt tonight’s first flight transporting UK asylum seekers to Rwanda
The leaders of the Church of England joined the opposition, calling the government’s policy ‘immoral.’
Prince Charles was among those opposed, according to British news reports.
Activists have denounced the policy as an attack on the rights of refugees that most countries have recognized since the end of World War II.
The UN refugee agency condemned the plan out of concern that other countries will follow suit as war, repression and natural disasters force a growing number of people from their homes.
Politicians in Denmark and Austria are considering similar proposals. Australia has operated an asylum-processing center in the Pacific island nation of Nauru since 2012.