An ex-minister claims that the refugee crisis in Rwanda poses a threat to British foreign policy

In the DR Congo, civilians flee a rebel M23 advance

An ex-cabinet minister has warned that the government's plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda runs the risk of "downgrading" UK foreign policy.

The M23 rebel group, which operates in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and is sanctioned by the UN and the US, received support from Rwanda, according to the group's final report, which was released earlier this month.

When Justine Greening served as international development secretary in 2012 and the United Nations revealed for the first time that Rwandans were assisting the M23 rebels, she withdrew £21 million in aid funding for the nation.

While the US and EU have explicitly urged the Rwandan government to stop supporting M23, a regional envoy from the UK issued a more general statement denouncing "external" support for rebels without specifically mentioning Rwanda.

Rwanda has consistently denied aiding the insurgency.

The importance of UK foreign policy and this nation's leadership on significant issues of human rights atrocities, including violence against women, was stressed by Ms. Greening in a statement to BBC Newsnight.

"This UN report also highlights the practical complexity and sustainability issues of integrating the delivery of Britain's asylum policy with any third country, especially one facing such demonstrable wider regional stability challenges," she added.

A million people had been driven from their homes in the Kivu Province as a result of the M23 group's advances, according to a UN report prepared for the Security Council. It also stated that the M23 group had committed "incidents of rape, including gang rape" in the mineral-rich regions where it operated.

Also identified as overseeing some M23 activity were generals of the Rwandan Defense Force and President Kagame's advisors. The report has been labeled as "fabricated" by the Rwandan government.

The UK government's policy toward Rwanda was declared illegal on Thursday by the Court of Appeal.

To the UK Supreme Court, according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Some asylum seekers would travel to Rwanda on a one-way ticket as part of the five-year trial, which was announced in April 2022.

They might be given refugee status so they can remain in Rwanda. If not, they may apply for a residency permit there on different grounds or apply for asylum in another "safe third country.".

The government claims that the proposal will discourage people from entering the UK "illegally, dangerously, or unnecessary methods," such as via small boats that cross the English Channel.

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