THE Sun yesterday toured a Rwandan asylum camp branded ‘inhuman’ by British activists – and found it to be more like a holiday resort.
Gashora Transit Centre, which can be used to process Canal migrants, has a range of modern amenities, air-conditioned rooms, an all-you-can-eat buffet and stunning countryside views.
It even has soccer fields, basketball courts, pool tables, free Wi-Fi, and a fully equipped kids’ club.
Our findings shatter flimsy claims that sending illegal migrants to the African nation would violate their human rights.
The first batch was due to go Tuesday but was given a last-minute reprieve after campaign groups including Care4Calais and Stop Deportations lobbied the European Court of Human Rights.
Last night, sources in Rwanda confirmed that none of the activists actually visited the country’s facilities.
Fares Riuyumbu, deputy head of camp Gashora, proudly showed it to The Sun yesterday – and dismissed the idea that residents are being mistreated.
He said: “They have absolute freedom to come and go as they please. We provide everything you could possibly need and more.
“Most of the people here come from very difficult backgrounds and we are very sensitive to their needs.
“I believe we offer a very high standard of living, a safe space for people to reorient themselves while a lasting solution is found for them.”
Built in 2019 on the site of an old scientific research laboratory, the Gashora Center is set amongst £100,000 Mediterranean-style villas overlooking lush countryside and banana plantations.
It features air-conditioned chalet blocks with colorfully painted balconies overlooking stunning views of Lake Gashora, a popular natural tourist attraction.
The nearby Flower Garden Hotel caters to well-heeled visitors, while the local streets are teeming with trendy young in-line skaters basking in the glorious equatorial sun.
Down the road is the Gashora Girls’ Academy of Science and Technology, teaching the high caliber young women of tomorrow.
The pristine refugee center is currently home to 457 Eritrean, Somali and Sudanese migrants – mostly men.
Most had gone to Libya in hopes of crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, but ended up in repressive prisons.
The UN regularly conducts rescue missions and sends hundreds to the Rwandan center for processing.
Most choose not to stay in Rwanda because they believe they can find fame and fortune in Britain, Canada and other parts of Europe.
When The Sun visited yesterday, a group of migrants took part in a music therapy session in a smart building like a community hall.
Reem Jamiel, 26, played the piano and belted out Alysha Keyes’ hit “Girl on Fire” to a cheering audience.
She said: “This place is fantastic. They treat us really well. I find the music therapy sessions really funny.
“The accommodation is really nice and clean. The weather can get a bit warm but I prefer it that way.
“I’m really glad I came here. There is no reason for anyone to fear or dislike this place.”
When asked if she would consider settling permanently in Rwanda, she said: “Nothing against this place, but my dream is to go to Canada and be a pop star like Alysha Keyes.
“I feel like my chances of doing that in Canada or Europe are better.”
Other activities at the center include free driving lessons, a fitness center, TV rooms, access to newspapers and magazines, a modern health center and educational courses.
A newly completed residential complex on the site called Ikaze Residence contains 30 self contained three bedroom apartments.
Residents are encouraged to clean up after themselves and change their own linens, but staff are on hand if there are any problems.
The migrants get three meals a day, prepared by a team of professional chefs and served in a self-service buffet.
Yesterday’s lunch menu included grilled chicken, rice, spaghetti, fries, fried bananas, salad, vegetables, watermelon and freshly baked bread.
On Saturday there is roast beef with rice, beans, vegetables, spaghetti, salad and pineapple.
Breakfast spreads include boiled eggs, donuts, cereal, and freshly baked breads and pastries.
Restaurant manager Martin Rutazigwa said: “The food here is delicious – I can say that with authority because I eat it myself! “Our chef mom makes an incredible bolognese sauce from scratch.
“We are always open to suggestions for new menu items and regularly give the refugees the opportunity to cook their specialties.”
It is unclear whether the Gashora center will be used for migrants from the UK, with Rwandan government sources giving conflicting instructions last night.
The centre’s deputy head, Fares Riuyumbu, said: “We have not been told one way or the other, but we stand ready to help Britain.”
Rwanda government spokesman Yolande Makolo yesterday criticized activists who have dismissed the country as inhumane.
She said: “Part of the narrative that’s out there is that Africa is an asshole because there isn’t a better word and that’s not true.
“It’s insulting to us, we live here and work really hard to make this country work, we want Africa to thrive.”
Another place in Rwanda where returning migrants will stay will be the Hope Hotel, a 50-room facility in the capital, Kigali.
There they were promised free cigarettes, with pavilions in the garden.
The migrants sleep in twin rooms with double beds, colorful carpets and slippers on side tables.
There are soaps and shower gels and even a suggestion box in the hallway where complaints can be taken.
You will be served three meals a day prepared by a chef.
There are also sports facilities, including a volleyball field that is under construction.
This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he could tear up human rights rules – after a flight to Rwanda to deport migrants was blocked after an anonymous Euro-judge took the step.
The government could even leave the European Court of Human Rights altogether.
Ministers are furious that the court would not reveal the identity of the judge who made the decision at 10pm on Tuesday.
The flight had been approved by three different UK courts – sparking renewed alarm that Euro judges are preventing Britain from controlling its borders.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5573484/rwanda-migrant-refugee-transit-centre-gashora/ I stayed in a migrant hotel in Rwanda with a swimming pool and kids’ club – it’s branded ‘inhuman’ but people love it here