May 06, (THEWILL) – The United Kingdom (UK) government has branded Southeast separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.
The UK government has also excluded members of the group from its asylum programme.
The development, according to authorities, followed series of atrocities committed by IPOB.
Among the atrocities listed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), included the invasion of an All Progressives Congress (APC) meeting in Enugu state, where a party chieftain was killed; the attack on an Imo Police Station, where an officer was killed; the killing of Anambra residents during enforcement of “sit-at-home” order; and the killing of some policemen en route to Anambra International Airport.
“IPOB is proscribed as a terrorist group by the Nigerian government, and members of the group and its paramilitary wing – the Eastern Security Network (created in December 2020) – have reportedly committed human rights violations in Nigeria.
“MASSOB has been banned, but is not a proscribed terrorist group in Nigeria. It too has reportedly been involved in violent clashes with the authorities.
“If a person has been involved with IPOB (and/or an affiliated group), MASSOB or any other ‘Biafran’ group that incites or uses violence to achieve its aims, decision makers must consider whether one (or more) of the exclusion clauses under the Refugee Convention is applicable.
“Persons who commit human rights violations must not be granted asylum”, UKVI said in its latest policy notes.
The policy directed that decision makers must also check if there has been a previous application for a UK visa or another form of leave, noting that asylum applications matched to visas should be investigated before the asylum interview.