Helsinki: Finland tells Somali refugees to return to Somalia

somaliaFinland has tightened restrictions on giving residence permits to asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, saying it is now largely safe for them to return to their war-torn homes.

Authorities in Helsinki, where anti-immigration political groups have been on the rise, said security had improved to such an extent that refugees would generally not be at risk in any parts of the three countries, despite the running conflicts.

“It will be more difficult for applicants from these countries to be granted a residence permit,” the immigration service said in a statement.

“It is currently possible for asylum seekers to return to all areas in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia without the ongoing armed conflicts as such presenting a danger to them only because they are staying in the country.”

Asylum seekers would now only be allowed to stay if they could prove that they were individually at risk.

Somalia has been slowly recovering from more than two decades of war. But the government is still fighting an Islamist insurgency by the militant group al-Shabaab, which regularly launches gun and bomb attacks in the capital Mogadishu and other cities.

Source: CCTV-Africa

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