The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has refuted media reports suggesting that Ghana has an engagement with the United Kingdom (UK) government to “send migrants to countries such as Rwanda and Ghana for processing and resettlement”.
According to media reports, some UK newspapers on Tuesday reported details of a document dubbed “Operation Dead Meat”, which contains, among others, a measure supposedly being drawn up by UK authorities to send migrants to countries such as Rwanda and Ghana for processing and resettlement.
Daily Mail online in UK, for instance, reported that asylum seekers “could be flown to Rwanda and Ghana for processing” under ‘Operation Red Meat’ plans to tackle illegal migrant channel crossings as Boris Johnson calls in the RAF and the Royal Navy to deter the journeys from France.
UK Ministers are said to be drawing up proposals which would see people arriving illegally in the UK sent abroad for processing and resettlement.
Similarly, The Times, a British daily national newspaper, reported that Home Secretary Priti Patel and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss were in talks about ‘outsourcing’ the asylum process to other countries.
The arrangements would see the UK pay another nation to take on the responsibility but no country has so far agreed to do so.
In addition, it was reported in November 2021 that Albania was being considered as one potential destinations but those talks were said to have collapsed.
Mail Online reported that Downing Street would not be drawn on the plans as the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was ‘not helpful’ to discuss negotiations with countries.
However, reacting to the media reports in a press releases on Tuesday January 18, 2022, Ghana’s Foreign Ministry maintained: “Ghana has not engaged with the UK on any such plan and does not intend to consider any such operation in the future.”
“It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration that UK newspapers this morning reported details of a document dubbed “Operation Dead Meat”, which contains, among others, a measure supposedly being drawn up by UK authorities to “send migrants to countries such as Rwanda and Ghana for processing and resettlement,” part of the statement read.
It continued: “It is recalled in this regard that the Ministry on September 8, 2021 debunked in a tweet a news item on Sky News UK about a possible Ghana interest in a partnership agreement with the UK to host deported or returned migrants of Third Countries from the UK”.
“The position of the Government has not changed and the Ministry advises that any publication that implies otherwise should be ignored,” the statement concluded.