Orphans of Rwanda’s civil war say they have nowhere to go after being turfed out of a hostel under Priti Patel’s cruel Rwanda refugee scheme
Orphans of the Rwandan genocide will lose their home to make way for refugees being booted out of Britain by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Some 22 residents are being turfed out of Hope House hostel to make room for asylum seekers sent to the African country under the proposed scheme.
As more migrants landed in Dover yesterday, Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael said the evictions were “cruel and heartless”.
Orphans of Rwanda’s civil war say they have nowhere to go after being turfed out of a hostel under Patel’s cruel Rwanda refugee scheme.
A shelter for traumatized victims of the 1994 conflict is being emptied to make way for asylum seekers being sent from the UK under the controversial Tory plan.
Although now in their late 20s, the 22 survivors have no money or family and some face lifelong mental health battles. They were given a fortnight’s notice to ship out of the hostel – ironically named Hope House – in capital city Kigali.
Tonight one vulnerable woman who has lived at the shelter for eight years said: “I barely know any other home. I was only told about moving out a few days ago. I have not figured out where I will go.”
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Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Ms Patel visited the hostel on Thursday in a stage-managed trip before details of the orphans became known.
Residents said they were not given the chance to see or meet her. Officials briefed press that the 50-bed building was a privately owned former tourist hostel.
There was no mention of the orphans, though one source said of Ms Patel’s visit: “There are more than 20 – you’d have thought it must have been fairly obvious.”
A resident added: “It is not a guest house. It has been a hostel, our home, for the last eight years.”
The plan to fly asylum seekers 4,000 miles to Rwanda has faced heavy criticism and was condemned as unworkable and illegal by the UN’s refugee agency the UNHCR.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The plight of the orphans has added to the fury.
Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: “The proposal was shocking enough but to now be evicting Rwandans is appalling. Instead of opening safe and legal routes for asylum seekers, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have reverted to cruel, heartless tactics.”
It has emerged Ms Patel issued a rare “ministerial direction” to push through the £120million scheme after officials raised concerns about it.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Sunday Mirror revelations about Hope House are the latest problem showing why civil servants could not endorse the plan. “Incompetence and waste are hallmarks of this government. Britain deserves better than this chaos.”
Unions warned of a walkout by staff over the policy. Dave Penman, of the FDA, said: “Civil servants’ choice is to implement, or leave. That could mean elsewhere in the department, another department or leaving the Civil Service.”
The Public and Commercial Services union labeled the scheme inhumane. Hope House was built in 2014 and is run by a local good cause called the Association des Etudiants Et Éleves Rescapés Du Genocide – AERG.
It once housed more than 190 orphans. Most have moved on after finding work and homes of their own.
But 22 remain, including one born weeks before her parents were killed. Up to 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Ms Patel’s plan will mean asylum seekers are flown out for processing. It is understood the AERG will not benefit financially. Its co-ordinator Emmanuel Muneza said: “We had plans to make the orphanage a guest house and raise money to support our members.
“But the plan has changed. We are negotiating the way forward.”
The Home Office did not comment on orphans, but said: “Rwanda will process claims in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention and ensure protection from inhuman and degrading treatment.”