Rwanda genocide survivor ‘moved out of hostel to visit Priti Patel’

Survivors of the genocide in Rwanda moved out of the hostel so Patel could inspect it

The Home Secretary visited a facility that could house Britain’s asylum seekers (Photo: Getty / EPA)

Survivors of the genocide in Rwanda were moved out of their residence during a visit by Priti Patel, it has been reported.

The hostel, known as Hope House, is said to house about 22 people who were orphaned as children in the 1994 massacres.

They need to be rehoused to accommodate asylum seekers sent from the UK under a new Home Secretary plan.

Rwandan officials say the facility in the capital Kigali originally housed about 190 young people, most of whom have since moved out.

But a few, now aged 29 and up, have been or returned after struggling to find permanent employment.

Most of the hostel’s 50 rooms are currently used as accommodation for tourists.

The Home Secretary paid a private visit to the site on April 14 after being briefed by British officials on plans to expand it.

That day, authorities told them they were taken to see genocide memorials in Kigali’s parliament building and another town 23 miles south of the city, which returned when British officials had left, according to the Observer.

One told the newspaper: ‘That is why we believe that not everything is done in good faith.’

KIGALI, RWANDA - APRIL 14: The United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel (C) and the Mayor of Kigali Rubingisa Pudence (L) visit the place allotted to refugees in Kigali, Rwanda on April 14, 2022. (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Interior Minister visited the site with Kigali’s mayor earlier this month (Photo: Anadolu)

Another said, ‘It [Rwandan] The government says it will rent us somewhere else, but we do not believe it.

‘They say we should go, but they have not given us money. Remember that some of these survivors lost [their] the whole family. Where do they want us to go? ‘

According to the expansion plans, Hope House is expected to have 150 rooms with space for up to 300 people, who will receive three meals a day along with kitchen facilities for any refugees with special dietary needs.

A spokesman for the hostel did not deny the day trip, but said the facility was being phased out long before British officials asked to rent it for the new asylum scheme.

They added: ‘Only a small fraction of the beds in the hostel were used and the facility is expensive to maintain.

DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 16: Irregular migrants caught by the British Coast Guard are brought to the port of Dover in Dover, UK on April 16, 2022. The UK announced that irregular migrants caught trying to cross from France to England , will be shipped to Rwanda.  (Photo by Stuart Brock / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The government claims that the scheme will reduce dangerous migrant passages (Image: Anadolu)

‘We were delighted when the government offered to rent the property as the funds we receive from them will enable us to provide support to hundreds or even thousands of genocide survivors through our other projects across the country.’

A spokesman for the Rwandan government told The Observer that residents, some of whom are students, will be eligible for government benefits until they find work.

The Home Office’s asylum plan has been criticized by the UN refugee agency, some Tory MPs and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ms Patel struck back on Monday, writing a joint article with Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta in which they challenged critics to come up with a better plan.

The government has said its plan will ease pressure on Britain’s treatment facilities and help tackle human trafficking networks, and has warned against ‘outdated’ ideas about life in Rwanda.

The Danish government is also in negotiations with the Rwandan country to transfer some of its own asylum seekers to the East African nation.

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