Non-Arab asylum seekers from Darfur can stay

Decision follows recent reports from international organisations

darfur_refugees.png4 November 2009: The Interior Ministry has clarified that non-Arab asylum seekers from Darfur will not be sent back to Sudan; and will be permitted to stay back in Britain, as it was deemed too dangerous.

"All non-Arab Darfuris, regardless of their political or other affiliations, are at real risk of persecution in Darfur and internal relocation elsewhere in Sudan is not currently to be relied upon," the UK Border Agency said in its operational guidance note.

Available information suggests the asylum seekers from the war-torn African country will be able to remain in Britain for five years, while periodic reviews are carried out on the safety of Darfur.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said the decision follows recent reports from international organisations expressing concern on treatment of Darfuris returning to Khartoum.

The development is significant as human rights group Amnesty International said about 1,200 Sudanese, many from Darfur, have applied for asylum in Britain during the past three years. Until now they could be deported back to the Sudanese capital.

According to the United Nations estimates, some 300,000 died in Darfur and 2.7 million were forced to leave behind their homes.

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