No deal with Israel on African migrants
Written by: Our Reporter
Friday, January 5th, 2018, 15:51
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe, has dismissed news that Rwanda entered a deal with Israel to shelter Africans awaiting deportation by Israel as fake news. There is an estimated 38,000 African migrants mostly from Sudan and Eritrea in Israel.
“This is totally fake news, get it from me, contrary to the news going around, Rwanda has no deal with Israel as far as resettling the African migrants awaiting deportation is concerned. Yes, there were talks on the matter nearly four or five years ago but we never reached any agreement with Israel,” the minister said.
Nduhungirehe, however, agreed that there are ongoing negotiations between Rwanda and the African Union (AU) and other stakeholders to shelter the African migrants in Libya whose rights have been variously violated, including being sold on open markets as slaves.
As the matter of deporting the African reached the peak, there are currently worldwide media reports that Rwanda and Uganda are the only two African countries that had expressed willingness to shelter the rejected African migrants whose future and country of destination is apparently unknown. Israel still maintains its earlier position that the African migrants have a grace period that will expire with the end of March this year.
According to media reports which the minister has described as “fake news” it is alleged that Israel had accepted to pay Rwanda $5,000 per African migrant it settles.
Coincidently, media has quoted Uganda’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem as allegedly denying that his country will host these rejected African migrants.
Israel started nearly two days ago on the process to deport the migrants. But, Human rights activists in Israel have allegedly expressed their concern about this issue.