UK backs down on asylum policy for IPOB, MASSOB

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The British Government has pulled down a notice it published regarding its asylum policy in relation to separatist pro-Biafra groups, including the Indigenous People of Biafra and Movement for the Actualization of Biafra.

In an email sent to Radio Now, signed by Hannah Dawson, Senior Communications Officer, Newsdesk at the Home office, the British Government said the policy is being reviewed and will be uploaded once it is ready.

The email sent by Hannah Dawson is in response to a query by Radio Now, and request for an interview on the original policy which seems to offer protection to members of groups some of which have not only been proscribed but also stand accused of being behind recent attacks against policemen and government infrastructure in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
The UK Government did not, however, give a time frame as to when the updated policy will be uploaded to their website.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had on Wednesday criticized the British government, saying its planned asylum for IPOB and MASSOB members was disrespectful of and sabotage against Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.

In response to Nigeria’s umbrage at the planned asylum, the British Government had said on Wednesday that all asylum and human rights claims from Nigerian nationals are carefully considered on their individual merits and in accordance with its international obligations.

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It added that its asylum policy is updated regularly and that the update on the Biafra separatist note would be made available soon.

In a statement made available to two national newspapers by the Senior Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission, Abuja, Christopher Ogunmodede on Wednesday, it said: “The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

“Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically – an update to the Biafra separatist note is expected shortly.”

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