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Denmark promised Rwanda vaccine doses at a meeting on asylum centers

In recent years, the Danish government has been actively looking for countries willing to accommodate asylum seekers who will be transferred directly to a third country rather than waiting for their asylum decision in Denmark. Rwanda, a Central African dictatorship ruled with an iron fist by President Paul Kagame, was one of the countries that showed interest in the controversial approach.

Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, who ruled the country for a quarter of a century.

Photo: Eric Espornson

About asylum seekers in Denmark The dictator will have a significant impact on Denmark’s handling of asylum seekers, while these people will be denied their democratic rights pending a decision. Denmark’s ability to use diplomacy to sway Rwanda in a democratic direction will be severely diminished.

Now the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten writes, That Danish diplomats raised an “expected vaccine donation” of 250,000 doses from the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, at the same meeting they spoke about the asylum center.

I ordered Jyllands-Posten Correspondence and meeting notes from the Danish authorities. Anders Tang Friborg, the special immigration ambassador tasked with starting asylum centers in third countries, arrived in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, in September to meet with representatives of the Rwandan government, the newspaper wrote. In these meetings, where Greth Norgaard of the Department of Immigration also participated, the discussion about dosages came.

Doses in the Covax Program must go directly to the recipient country and must not consist of doses that have already been delivered to a country but are lost, and thus 250,000 doses are not included in Covax. Denmark had previously promised to donate 200,000 doses to Rwanda through Covax, from manufacturer Astra Zeneca.

In the end, Rwanda refused the potion Because you don’t need them. In Jyllands-Posten, Member of Parliament Rosa Lund criticizes the government. It represents the Left Alliance Enhedslisten, a party that is pro-Danish Social Democrats on welfare issues but is outside Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s agreement on immigration policy with the bourgeois parties.

– He asserts that it is only about one thing, and that is to become good friends with Rwanda. And so you do everything you can to prioritize them, she says and continues:

– Now it turns out they didn’t need the shots anyway. So the country is chosen not according to who needs the vaccine but according to who we need to be good friends with.

Fleming Konradsen tells Jyllands-Posten, Professor of global health, it’s a bad idea to confuse geopolitics with public health.

No one should be giving vaccines to a particular country to advance the local policy agenda, he says.

An elderly woman leaves a health center in Bugesera after Rwanda started vaccination against COVID-19 in March 2021.

An elderly woman leaves a health center in Bugesera after Rwanda started vaccination against COVID-19 in March 2021.

Photo: NEW CHINA / SIPA / Shutterstock

Development Aid Minister Fleming Mueller Mortensen “The planned donation to Rwanda was an extension of the government’s focus on Africa, our good bilateral relations with Rwanda and Rwanda’s ability to roll out vaccines quickly and efficiently,” he writes in an email to the newspaper.

The Rwandan government has not commented on the matter. Rwanda is one of the freest countries in Africa and It consistently ends up at the bottom of a number of democracy indicators.

End of this week The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) delivered a batch of vaccine doses to Rwanda Donated by Covax. With the shipment, Covax passed 1 billion intermediate doses to poor countries.

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