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A senior minister of the United Kingdom on Tuesday said that the country will deport nearly 6000 migrants to Rwanda this year.

This comes days after the UK government published new details on the controversial deportation plan said to be aimed at deterring migrant arrivals on small boats from Northern Europe became law following months of parliamentary wrangling.

Lamonde reports that Rwanda has “in principle” agreed to receive no fewer than 5,700 migrants already in the UK, according to the Home Office.

The Home Office also said that of the 5,700 migrants to be deported, 2,143 “can be located for detention” before being flown to Rwanda.

Health Secretary, Victoria Atkins, said on Tuesday that law enforcement agencies will find the remainder, noting that “The expectation is that we remove that group of people by the end of the year.”

Atkins added that “If somebody doesn’t report as they should do. They will be found.”

The Home Office said that migrants who arrived in the UK between January 2022 and June 2023 are liable to have their asylum claims deemed inadmissible and be deported to Rwanda.

Official statistics showed that more than 57,000 people arrived on small boats after trying to cross the Channel during this 18-month period.

The figure underlines the scale of the challenge trying to stem irregular arrivals and the limits of the government’s contentious plan to send some of them to Rwanda.

Under the plan – set to cost UK taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds – their asylum claims will be examined by Kigali. If approved, they will be allowed to stay in Rwanda and not return to the UK.

Rwanda, home to 13 million people in Africa’s Great Lakes region, lays claim to being one of the most stable countries on the continent and has drawn praise for its modern infrastructure.

But Lamonde reports that rights groups accused the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, of ruling in a climate of fear, stifling dissent and free speech. British lawmakers last week passed the Safety of Rwanda Bill, which compels British judges to regard the nation as a safe third country.

It followed a UK Supreme Court ruling last year that said sending migrants on a one-way ticket there was illegal.

The new law also gives decision-makers on asylum applications the power to disregard sections of international and domestic human rights law.

UK opposition parties, UN agencies and various rights groups have criticized the flagship policy of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government.

Recall that Sunak said last week that deportation flights are expected to begin within 10-12 weeks.

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