Kigali has denied that it signed a deal to accept the African asylum seekers whom the Israeli government plans to deport. In a series of tweets on Monday, the Rwandan government’s spokesperson said that while its doors remain open to all Africans in need, the reports of it signing a deal with Israel are simply rumors.

Asylum seekers demonstrating outside the Supreme Court

Asylum seekers demonstrating outside the Supreme Court Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

The Rwandan government has officially denied that it will take in the African migrants and asylum seekers that Israel plans to deport. The spokesperson for the government wrote on Twitter that the reports about a secret Israel-Rwanda deal regarding the matter are nothing more than “rumors” that were spread by the media. However, the spokesperson clarified that Rwanda is prepared to help any and all Africans in need of a temporary or permanent home.

“Rwanda is ready to help in whatever limited way it could, by welcoming anyone arriving at its borders in need of a home, voluntarily and without any constraint,” the spokesperson wrote in one of the five tweets that were uploaded regarding the matter.

Another tweet directly referred to the media reports about the alleged deal reached by Israel and an African country- most likely Rwanda or Uganda: “In reference to the rumors that have been recently spread in the media, the Government of Rwanda wishes to inform that it has never signed any secret deal with Israel regarding the relocation of African migrants.”

Yesterday, more than 1,000 African asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea, protested outside the Rwandan embassy in Herzliya against the planned deportations. According to Israel’s Interior Ministry, there are over 35,000 African migrants and asylum seekers in the country. Most of them are Eritreans who live in southern Tel Aviv.