The United Kingdom (UK) has clarified that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not a proscribed organisation in the UK.
The British government described the reports in some sections of the media (not The Nation) as “inaccurate reporting”.
Several media reports had claimed the United Kingdom barred IPOB, the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and other Biafran groups from participating in its asylum programme.
But a statement by the British High Commission Abuja on Friday said this wasn’t the case.
It reads: “We are aware of inaccurate reporting circulating in the media and online that the UK Government has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law. These reports are untrue. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not a proscribed organisation in the UK.
“The inaccurate reporting relates to the 13 April 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information note (CPIN) on separatist groups in SE Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). CPINs provide country of origin information (COl) and analysis of COI for use by UK Government decision-makers handling particular types of protection and human rights claims.
“All asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on their individual facts in accordance with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account relevant background country information and case law.
“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), provides a general assessment of risks faced by individuals belonging to those groups. These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available country information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources including media outlets; UK and other governments; local, national and international organisations; and non-government organisations.
“This CPIN also acknowledges that the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, some members of IPOB have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection.
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“The document is publicly available on our UK Government website, Gov.UK at www.gov.uk/government/publications/nigeria-country-policy-and-information-notes”