Rwanda tourist hotel poised to host Channel migrants from UK – in pictures

Hope Hostel in Nyabugogo, Rwanda is set to accommodate asylum seekers for three months

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Photographs of a tourist hotel in Rwanda, poised to host Channel migrants from the UK, have been released.

Asylum seekers will reportedly stay in the £19-a-night hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of Kigali for three months while they are waiting to be processed.

Hope House is currently being used as accommodation for tourists, according to Rwandan government officials.

Privately owned, the East African nation’s government is understood to be in negotiations to lease the property.

A view of Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
A view of Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
The bedrooms at Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
The bedrooms at Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda

Home Secretary Priti Patel made a private visit to the site on Thursday to see an example of what accommodation may be on offer.

This is understood to be Ms Patel’s first visit to Rwanda since the deal was thrashed out, after being briefed by Home Office and Foreign Office officials who have been researching the plan.

The complex has 50 rooms at present and can accommodate around 100 people with up to two people per room and sharing communal bathrooms.

Bathroom facilities at Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
Bathroom facilities at Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
Dining facilities at Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
Dining facilities at Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda

But there are plans to expand the facility by building more accommodation blocks, eventually seeing it offer 150 rooms and able to sleep up to 300 people.

Asylum seekers are expected to be provided meals three times a day to eat in a communal dining room, with some kitchen facilities also available for those with special dietary requirements.

More than 5,000 migrants are thought to have arrived in the UK this year so far after crossing the Channel.

A view of Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
A view of Hope House, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of the capital city Kigali, in Rwanda
A view of Kigali, in Rwanda
A view of Kigali, in Rwanda

Since the start of 2022, 4,617 people had reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats as of Tuesday, according to data obtained from the Home Office.

It is understood that a further 600 arrived on Wednesday with hundreds more on Thursday.

The previous highest daily total for this year was recorded on March 15 when 405 people made the crossing in 12 boats, analysis shows.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put the Royal Navy in “operational command” from Thursday of handling boats crossing the Channel while, under newly revealed plans, that those detained could be flown to Rwanda.

Asked if she was “really sure about this idea” in light of a deal Israel struck with Rwanda a few years ago which saw “many of those people ending up in the hands of people traffickers, murdered, raped, tortured, and enslaved”, the Home Secretary told reporters in Kigali: “The answer is yes.”

She said Rwanda had resettled over 130,000 refugees from Africa and neighbouring countries and they “do that incredibly well”.

Ms Patel added: “The work has been forensic. It is a testament to the teams of officials that understand migration policy, understand asylum, understand the United Nations conventions, understand ECHR, understand the legalities that we will face as a country, but actually understand decency and humanity and how to resettle people and treat people with respect.

“The history of Rwanda is deeply devastating… Now peace and reconciliation and rebuilding in this country for all Rwandans is clearly at the heart of the Government’s mission here…

“So I think we should actually pay tribute to the work that Rwanda has done to really resettle a lot of refugees, but also look at the way in which they’re also bettering themselves to doing that and reaching out to new partners.”