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Off-shoring problem, UK way!

BY: Caroline Boateng
Picture credit: BBC.com
Picture credit: BBC.com

A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything. Ecclesiastes 10:19.

Last month, the UK government under an economic development partnership, reached an agreement with Rwanda, where UK would offshore its asylum processes to Rwanda.

The details of the agreement are for all single men arriving in Britain from across the English Channel in small boats to be flown 6,400 kilometres to Rwanda, while their asylum claims are processed.

Media reports agreement of Rwanda to the scheme would cost the UK some $158 million. Talk about doling $158 million or ¢1,189,978,738.00 (https://usd.currencyrate.today/convert/amount- 158000000-to-ghs.html) to get rid of a challenge!

In Rwanda, asylum seekers from Africa, would be prodded to integrate there, rather than nurse hopes of ever reaching the UK!

When the news first broke in mid- April, Ghana was to be included in the scheme, however, that bit of news suddenly faded subsequently; perhaps the government thought through and feared the backlash from Ghanaians.

Calais

Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover and is the narrowest point in the English Channel and closest French town to England.

For centuries, Calais has been a trading hub and port.

In modern times, it has been the transit for asylum seekers desiring to reach the UK. From there, they hide in haulage trucks or hang dangerously onto the axle of large trailers to cross the Channel Tunnel over to the UK.

The influx of migrants at Calais since the early 1990s has become an eyesore for Britain and France, with the establishment of an illegal camp of migrants there, called the Calais Jungle.

In February 2016, the French government evicted asylum seekers in portions of the Jungle, making several arrests; it culminated in the demolition of the camp in October 2016.

Some asylum seekers interviewed by international news media organisations at Calais after the deal between Rwanda and the UK cursed the President of Rwanda, Paul Kigame, for agreeing to the asylum deal.

They said Africa’s forebears would judge him.

For them, there was no life to be made in Rwanda, whose President had a record of being authoritarian, intolerable and with a poor human rights record.

Ukraine

Meanwhile, Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has brought in its wake the displacement of about 4.3 million Ukrainians.

All over Europe, they have been welcomed with open arms and actively supported to get educated, find jobs and integrate seamlessly into the way of life of the European country they find themselves.

In the UK, a BBC news report has it that about 40,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK, with visas issued for more than 36,000.

In Denmark, there has been a marked treatment of Syrian refugees on one hand and Ukrainians on the other, with the country’s Parliament agreeing to a plan for the police to search and to confiscate, on arrival, money or the assets of Syrians worth more than 10,000 kroner (£1,000).

However, Ukrainians have been welcomed wholeheartedly and are being supported to have life easy.

What is the significance of these happenings in our generation? Are our Presidents and leaders of regional and continental bodies aware and what are they doing about it?

I am talking about long-term measures. Sacrificing for their people for improved conditions so no one believes the grass is greener abroad; adhering to the rule of law; ensuring that standards of living abroad are what pertains in Africa, etc, etc.

The lines are being drawn along the lines of colour, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the distribution of vaccines, as well as the treatment of refugees from Africa (Syria) increasingly showing that regional blocks are working in the interest of those within their region; countries are fighting for the survival of their citizens and Presidents are living just for that.

What is Ghana’s case?

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