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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Right-wing French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen welcomes Boris Johnson’s Rwanda migrant plan

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rench presidental candidate Marine Le Pen on Friday welcomed a British plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda– while suggesting there would be far cheaper and “more efficient” ways of processing applicants.

“It could work,” Ms Le Pen said, as she discussed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposals on the BFM news channel.

The scheme would see the African country of Rwanda–4000 miles from the UK–being paid multimillions to process refugees and economic immigrants.

It is of particular interest to France because they would include the thousands who travel through the country on their way to claim asylum in the UK.

Anyone who reaches Britain illegally – including in small boats or in the back of lorries – would be considered for relocation to Rwanda.

While Ms Le Pen, a far-Right nationalist with a radical anti-immigrant agenda, was broadly in favour of the British plan, she said “there are more efficient methods”.

She said it would be better for “asylum seekers to be processed by the French consulates in whichever country they find themselves in”.

This would mean costs would not include long flights to Africa, nor accommodation and other costs while they are there.

It has been estimated that the Rwanda scheme would cost some £1.6billion a year.

Human rights organisations are also pointing to the fact that Rwanda is best known in the west for the 1994 ethnic genocide that left up to 800,000 Tutsi people dead.

Amnesty International says there are still concerns over “enforced disappearances, allegations of torture and excessive use of force” in Rwanda.

Ms Le Pen, candidate for the National Rally party, will go head-to-head against incumbent head of state Emmanuel Macron in a second round election to choose the new President of France on Sunday week.

Current opinion polls show Mr Macron beating his arch rival, but the gap between the two is closing.

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