Somali asylum seekers agree to compromise
Dozens of Somali asylum seekers who were camping outside a detention centre in Ter Apel in the northeastern Netherlands have packed up their tents and ended their protest. A local council spokesperson has confirmed the news.
The refugees have agreed to a compromise offered by the Immigration and Naturalisation Department. They will be allowed to apply afresh for asylum and will be allowed to stay in the country while their cases are considered.
They were protesting because they were due to be deported but claimed Somalia was too dangerous for them to go back. Many of the failed asylum seekers claim not to have the necessary documents to return.
The IND disputes this, saying that repatriation would be possible if the Somalis co-operated in the process. The question of whether or not they can return to Somalia will be answered when their new requests for asylum are considered, according to the IND.
Earlier today, local Mayor Leontien Kompier announced it was “not desirable on humanitarian grounds” that the Somalis should stay in their tents in the present weather conditions.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide