The ‘defenders of democracy’

The ‘defenders of democracy’

Alexander Khabarov

Of all the possible options for combating illegal migration, the Johnson government chose the most exotic and expensive. It was decided to send illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel to Africa. So the one who considered himself lucky, leaving the French coast and reaching the English, instead of Great Britain, risks getting into a distant African country. Interior Minister Priti Patel has signed an agreement with Rwanda, it is there that they are ready to accept refugees objectionable to Britain.
The conditions in which it is planned to keep migrants are today presented as quite comfortable. In the capital of Rwanda, Kigali, the first building of a hostel with two double beds in a room, a toilet and a shower are shared, and there is a lounge with a TV on each floor. Internally displaced persons will be provided with three meals a day, but there is also a kitchen where migrants can cook their own food. Moreover, they are not going to be limited in moving around the city.
Those expelled from Britain in Rwanda will be able to apply for political asylum. If the answer is positive, then the Rwandan authorities will grant the right to stay in the country for at least five years. Legalized refugees will be provided with housing and financial support, and vocational training programs will be offered.
Unlike the British, who do not know how to rid themselves of intruders from far abroad, the Rwandan authorities say they need workers and even say that the new program will help compensate for the outflow of the population: young people today prefer this African country at the first opportunity. leave the country. For the implementation of the pilot part of the project, London allocates £120 million to the Government of Rwanda.
Whether it will be possible to turn back human rivers is unknown. Those who are denied political asylum in Rwanda will be deported to their homeland. As a rule, these are Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and Libya, most of these countries have sipped a lot of grief due to foreign policy intrigues, and sometimes open military intervention by the United Kingdom. “The government’s plan to send refugees to Rwanda fleeing conflicts, including those in which Britain has been involved, is shameful and brutal in the extreme,” said former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. The cynicism of the situation is also in the fact that people who fled from wars and poverty are going to be transferred as goods. The only difference is that suppliers pay, not customers.
The idea of transporting refugees away from their shores has been in the air for a long time in England. It is known that the British Cabinet considered various options, among them were called Albania, Ghana and even the crown-owned Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, four thousand kilometers from London. It didn’t work out anywhere, but it worked out with Rwanda.
The Guardian columnist Patrick Wintour posted on his Twitter an excerpt from the latest report of the US State Department on the observance of human rights. A lot of unflattering things are heard about Rwanda: “murders and kidnappings ordered by the government, arrests for political reasons, torture” and further down the usual list for countries that Washington considers “undemocratic.” One of the blog readers immediately mockingly remarked: isn’t this description talking about the United States itself? Another recalled that the Americans bombed Afghanistan, and the Rwandan authorities, on the contrary, evacuated 250 students from a girls’ school from there.
Rwanda has a complex and tragic history. In the 90s, the country experienced a bloody civil war and genocide against one of the ethnic groups – the Tutsis, according to various estimates, from 200 thousand to a million people were killed. The current president, Paul Kagame, was one of those who managed to stop the massacre. He has ruled Rwanda since 2000, having achieved considerable success in the economic development of the country, which also has the lowest level of corruption in East Africa, sometimes even called African Switzerland, and the capital Kigali is compared to Singapore. Kagame rules authoritarianly. He said that he physically “educated” his subordinates, although he recognized such behavior as “erroneous.”
The English media call Kagame a despot, but today he is a “useful person” for the Johnson government. It does not matter that in Rwanda and without British supplies there are now almost 130,000 refugees from neighboring Congo and Burundi, who are sitting in their camps as if they were on reservations, not having the right to move around the country. The fact that the opposition that fled abroad complains that critics of the Kagame regime are in prison can also be forgotten. London, as always, is practical when it comes to its own interests. Prime Minister Johnson said that sending refugees to Rwanda would break the business model of the organizers of the illegal traffic of migrants across the English Channel: they promised England, but brought them to Africa.
In London, they refer to the successful experience of their former colony – Australia, where the British themselves once sent convict criminals. Now they have succeeded in the fight against illegal immigrants from neighboring countries – in 2013, the Australians began to send migrants to the distant island of Nauru in the Pacific Ocean. The flow of illegal immigrants trying to get into Australia has really fallen sharply. At the same time, the conditions on the island were compared with a concentration camp: some of the refugees spent up to seven years in this captivity, suicides occurred there, children were raped and other crimes were reported. In general, a successful experience, to be sure.
Johnson’s government says only men will be sent to Rwanda, while women and children will remain in Britain. But the refugees who remain in the United Kingdom will have a hard time. If earlier they were placed in hotels and residential buildings, now it is planned to move everyone to temporary detention centers, mainly former barracks. To catch illegal immigrants in the English Channel, in addition to border guards, the ships of the Royal Navy will be obliged. Talk about this has been going on for a long time, but until now, military sailors have not expressed a desire to participate in such operations, fearing responsibility for the victims among those they are assigned to catch. It is possible that this time the government’s loud statements will remain only on paper.
Johnson was again accused of being a primitive populist. Claims of sending migrants to Africa came immediately after renewed demands for his resignation: he embarrassed himself by receiving a fine for violating the lockdown and became the first prime minister in British history to be publicly accused of violating the laws of his country.
In many ways, this story is very revealing – it is not only about the double standards of the “defenders of democracy”, but also about the true attitude of the British government towards those who count on the help and protection of this country.

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