Netherlands will not deport asylum seekers to Mogadishu

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Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers has told parliament that failed asylum seekers from Somalia will not be sent back to the capital Mogadishu because it’s too dangerous there. They will be allowed to stay in the Netherlands if they are from Mogadishu or unable to travel to other parts of Somalia.

The minister made his statement in reply to questions by the PvdA Labour Party and the Christian Union. The foreign ministry says the violence in Mogadishu has made many victims among the civilian population, and serious human rights violations are widespread.

Earlier, the European Court of Human Rights banned deportations to Mogadishu, and the Council of State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, ruled that the government had failed to prove that it was safe for asylum seekers to return to the Somalian capital.

Somalian refugees from safer areas who are being deported from the Netherlands can travel via Mogadishu because the airport is under the control of the government army.

All Somalian asylum seekers were admitted to the Netherlands until May 2009. Since then, each case has been considered individually, and the number of Somalian asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands has dropped substantially.

The number of deportations of failed asylum seekers is very low. The deportation of a Somalian man in early September was the first in more than a year.



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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