Civil war orphans say they have nowhere to go after being evicted from a hostel as part of Priti Patel’s cruel refugee program for Rwanda
Orphans of Rwanda’s genocide will lose their homes to make way for refugees being evicted from Britain by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
About 22 residents will be evicted from Hope House Hostel to make room for asylum seekers who will be 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 evicted from a hostel as part of Patel’s cruel refugee program for Rwanda.
A shelter for traumatized victims of the 1994 conflict is being vacated to make way for asylum seekers being sent from Britain under the controversial Tory plan.
Though now in their late 20s, the 22 survivors have no money or families, and some face lifelong mental health problems. They were given a fortnight to leave the hostel – ironically dubbed Hope House – in the capital, Kigali.
Tonight, a vulnerable woman who has lived at the shelter for eight years said: “I hardly know of any other homes. I was told to move out just a few days ago. I haven’t figured out where I’m going yet.”
Get the latest news in your inbox. Sign up for the free Mirror newsletter
Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)
Ms Patel visited the hostel on Thursday as part of a staged trip, before details about the orphans emerged.
Local residents said they had no opportunity to see or meet her. Officials informed the press that the 50-bed building was a former privately owned tourist hostel.
No mention was made of the orphans, although a source said of Ms Patel’s visit: “There are more than 20 – you would have thought it must have been pretty obvious.”
A resident added: “It’s not a guest house. It’s been a hostel, our home, for the last eight years.”
The plan to fly asylum seekers 4,000 miles to Rwanda was heavily criticized and condemned by the UN refugee agency UNHCR as unworkable and illegal.
Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)
The plight of the orphans has added to the anger.
Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: “The proposal was shocking enough, but for Rwandans to be evicted now is appalling. Instead of opening up safe and legal avenues for asylum seekers, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have reverted to cruel, heartless tactics.”
It has emerged Ms Patel has issued a rare “ministerial directive” to push through the £120million scheme after officials raised concerns about it.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “The Sunday Mirror’s revelations about Hope House are the latest issue showing why officials have been unable to back the plan. “Incompetence and waste are hallmarks of this government. Britain deserves better than this mess.”
The unions warned that workers could go on strike over the directive. The FDA’s Dave Penman said, “Officials have a choice to implement them or leave. It can be a different department, a different department, or leaving public service.”
The Public and Commercial Services Union called the program inhumane. The Hope House was built in 2014 and is run by a local charity called Association des Etudiants Et Éleves Rescapés Du Genocide – AERG.
It once housed more than 190 orphans. Most have moved on after finding jobs and homes of their own.
But 22 remain, including one who was born weeks before her parents died. Up to 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Ms. Patel’s plan is for asylum seekers to be flown out for processing. It goes without saying that AERG will not benefit financially from this. Its coordinator Emmanuel Muneza said: “We planned to turn the orphanage into a guest house and raise money to support our members.
“But the plan has changed. We are negotiating how to proceed.”
The Interior Ministry did not comment on orphans, but said: “Rwanda will process applications in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention and ensure protection from inhuman and degrading treatment.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/rwanda-genocide-orphans-booted-out-26728311 Orphans of Rwanda genocide left home to make way for British asylum seekers - World News