Rwanda snubs Israeli ‘fact-finding’ mission
Publish date: 12 February 2018
Issue Number: 761
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Kigali on Friday said it wanted no part in Israel's ‘internal politics’ after turning away two opposition Israeli lawmakers who wanted to discuss their country's controversial plan to deport African migrants and asylum seekers. The MPs said they had come to Rwanda on a ‘fact-finding mission’ to discuss Israel Government policy to expel about 38 000 Eritrean and Sudanese migrants who have entered the country illegally. A report on the News24 site notes that Israel is offering to relocate them to an unnamed third country, which aid workers say is Rwanda or Uganda. ‘Rwanda cannot be a playground for Israeli internal politics. We deal with governments and we only receive foreign officials that are announced and cleared by their Foreign Ministries,’ said Foreign Affairs Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tel Aviv has been overrun by mostly African ‘illegal infiltrators’ who, it maintains, are largely responsible for driving up poverty and crime in working-class southern parts of the city. From 1 April, the government says it will give the asylum seekers the choice between prison and ‘voluntary’ deportation. Those who agree to leave will be given $3 500.