Rwanda announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement worth millions of dollars with Britain to receive asylum seekers and migrants to the United Kingdom on its soil, as part of the British government's attempts to control illegal immigration.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Perrota said - in a statement issued during a visit to British Home Secretary Priti Patel - that "Rwanda welcomes this partnership with the United Kingdom to host asylum seekers and migrants and provide them with legal ways to reside" in the African country.

“It is about ensuring that people are protected and respected and that they are empowered to move forward towards their aspirations and to settle permanently in Rwanda if they so choose,” Beruta said.

The announcement came hours before a scheduled speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlining his government's plan to deal with illegal immigration and crossings of the Channel, linking France and the United Kingdom, on small boats.

While Johnson was elected in part because of his promises to control illegal immigration, a record number of immigrants crossed the Channel during his reign.

Hundreds of irregular migrants live in harsh conditions on the shores of France, waiting for an opportunity to leave the country.

In a tragic accident in the English Channel in November last year, 27 people drowned while trying to reach England, which caused a crisis between Paris and London, in addition to 3 dead and 4 missing during the same year.

In 2020, 6 people were killed and 3 others were missing, compared to 4 people killed in 2019.

The UK will fund the agreement with Rwanda up to 120 million pounds ($157 million, or 144 million euros), to "integrate (migrants) into communities across the country," according to a Kigali statement.

And media reports published earlier said that the United Kingdom hopes to assign countries such as Ghana and Rwanda the task of completing the procedures for receiving migrants.

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