UK paid Rwanda additional $126 million for contested migrant plan.

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Britain paid Rwanda an additional 100 million pounds ($126 million) in April, on top of 140 million pounds it previously sent, as the bill for its contested plan to relocate asylum seekers to the East African country continues to rise. The Rwanda scheme is at the centre of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s strategy to deter illegal migrants but as yet none have been moved there because of legal battles since the scheme was announced in 2022.

On top of the 240 million pounds Britain has sent to Rwanda, London is also set to pay the East African country an additional 50 million pounds next year, according to a letter published by the British interior ministry on Thursday. The new minister for legal migration Tom Pursglove, justified what he called the 240 million-pound “investment” on Friday, saying that once the Rwanda policy was up and running it would save on the cost of housing asylum-seekers in the UK.

The money sent to Rwanda would help its economic development and get the asylum partnership with the UK up and running, Pursglove added. The letter from the interior ministry highlighted that the payments to Rwanda were not linked to a treaty the two country signed on Tuesday.

The treaty seeks to respond to a ruling by Britain’s Supreme Court that the deportation scheme would violate international human rights laws enshrined in domestic legislation.