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Sudanese asylum committee: ‘Dutch decision to reassess applicants unfair and baseless’

June 7 - 2020 THE HAGUE
The Dutch Houses of Parliament in The Hague (File Photo: Markus Bernet / Wikimedia Commons)
The Dutch Houses of Parliament in The Hague (File Photo: Markus Bernet / Wikimedia Commons)

Sudanese civil society organisations based in the Netherlands have condemned the decision by the Dutch Ministry of Migration regarding reassessment of asylum applicants from Sudan’s Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. More than 100 Sudanese nationals resident in the Netherlands risk being sent back to war-affected areas, the committee says.

Zuhair Ibrahim, general secretary of the Sudanese Asylum Seekers Committee in the Netherlands, told Radio Dabanga that the security situation in Sudan, especially the three regions of Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile continued to deteriorate. “Look at the recent violence that took place in South Darfur, South Kordofan and Kassala, the security situation in these places have been too bad,” he said.

He said the lives of these people would be at stake if the Dutch authorities would decide to send them to these regions. He pointed out that up to date, there is no peace agreement that ensures stability in these areas. He added that the situation in Sudan remains fragile. “The failed assassination attempt against Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on March 9, for example” he added.

Zuhair confirmed that around 100 Sudanese, most of whom hold five-year residence permits, have received or are due to receive  a letter from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst IND).

Reassessment

As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, the Migration Ministry of the Netherlands is to reassess asylum applicants from Sudan’s Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states citing an ‘improved situation since 2017’.

Responding to questions from Radio Dabanga, Steffart Buijs, spokesperson for the Dutch Minister for Migration, Ankie Broekers-Knol, explained that the decision to reassess asylum applications is based on an official report dated October 3 2019.

Buijs points out that on January 12 this year, the new policy on Sudan was published and has since taken effect: “On April 30 the IND wrote on its website that it would be sending out letters to the individuals whose residence permit would be reassessed. Around 100 individuals will receive a letter from the IND informing them about the reassessment of their residence permit. All the individuals will receive this letter before November 1, 2020.”

Immigration policy

As elsewhere in Europe, traditionally moderate Dutch attitudes towards immigration have hardened over the past decades, and governments are under increasing internal political pressure from anti-immigration parties to be more selective in terms of asylum and residence applications.


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