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Commonwealth leaders meet in Rwanda amid criticism of host’s rights record

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Britain’s Prince Charles will get briefed by an aide earlier than attending the Heads of Authorities and CEOs roundtable throughout Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly (CHOGM) on the Intare convention area on the outskirts Kigali, Rwanda June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Ayenat Mersie

KIGALI, June 24 (Reuters) – Commonwealth leaders meet in Kigali on Friday to debate cooperation on matters from commerce to well being to local weather, towards a backdrop of criticism of the host Rwanda’s human rights document and of a British coverage to deport asylum seekers there.

The Commonwealth, a membership of 54 nations most of that are former British colonies, encompasses a couple of third of humanity and presents itself as a community of equal companions with shared targets similar to democracy, peace and prosperity. Learn full story

Britain’s Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will attend a gap ceremony together with heads of state and authorities from most member nations, earlier than the leaders maintain two days of talks behind closed doorways.

One merchandise on the agenda can be functions by former French colonies Togo and Gabon to hitch the Commonwealth, an indication of disenchantment inside France’s sphere of affect in Africa and of the points of interest of an English-speaking membership. Learn full story

The theme of the summit, “Delivering a Frequent Future: Connecting, Innovating, Remodeling”, provided few clues as to what outcomes have been anticipated.

At earlier summits, leaders have agreed on declarations and targets on particular challenges similar to malaria, and a few of the richer members have pledged funding for particular initiatives.

Some outstanding nations, together with South Africa, India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand despatched extra junior delegations led by ministers to Kigali.

Earlier this month, 24 civil society teams together with Human Rights Watch mentioned the Commonwealth’s human rights mandate can be undermined if leaders didn’t problem Rwanda on its document.

They mentioned the Rwandan authorities was liable for abusive prosecutions, harassment and torture of dissidents, which Rwanda denies.

The internet hosting of the summit by Rwanda has additionally saved the highlight on Britain’s controversial coverage to deport asylum seekers to the nation. Learn full story

Prince Charles was reported by British media to have described it as “appalling”, an uneasy backdrop to his interactions with each Johnson and Rwandan President Paul Kagame on the summit. Nonetheless, any tensions have been unlikely to be aired in public. Learn full story

Johnson, requested by Reuters on Thursday if he would go to detention centres ready by the Rwandan authorities to obtain asylum seekers from Britain, mentioned he was “flat out” and wouldn’t be capable to.

(Further reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Writing by Estelle Shirbon, Enhancing by William Maclean)

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