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Britain’s Court of Appeals ruled against a controversial plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, a decision that marks another setback for the ruling Conservative government as it seeks to tackle the number of migrant boats entering the country via the English Channel, the New York Times reported.

On Thursday, the court said Rwanda was not a safe country, a ruling that reverses a verdict by the United Kingdom’s High Court in December. That previous court ruled in favor of the government’s plan, but said that specific deportation cases should be reconsidered.

Following Thursday’s decision, the British government said it will seek to appeal the case to the country’s top court, adding that Rwanda is a safe destination.

Last year, the United Kingdom and Rwanda reached a deal that allowed the UK to deport asylum seekers to the small African country. In return, Rwanda would receive nearly $152 million in development funding, with the British government covering the processing and integration costs for each relocated individual.

British officials hoped the policy would deter migrants and asylum seekers from making the dangerous crossing from France to the southern coast of England on small, often unseaworthy boats.

But human rights groups criticized the plan, while the United Nations refugee agency questioned whether the policy is compatible with Britain’s obligations under international refugee and human rights laws.

Questions also remain about the feasibility of the plan after the UK Home Office estimated this week that the cost of relocating each individual topped $200,000 per person.

Meanwhile, Rwanda disputed the court’s characterization as an unsafe destination, saying it is one of the safest countries in the world, and has been recognized by the United Nations refugee agency and other international institutions “for our exemplary treatment of refugees.”

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