Sweden rejects Somali refugees

Sweden's Migration Board ruling has rejected the asylum application of a 20-year-old from Mogadishu on the grounds that the situation in the Somali capital does not constitute an armed conflict.

The board’s ruling, which is expected to set the standard for future applications, goes against UN recommendations, Dagens Nyheter reports. The 20-year-old Somali, who arrived in Sweden in May, will now be sent back to his home country.

Under the new guidelines, refugees from Mogadishu must be able to show that there is a specific threat against them if they are to be considered eligible for permanent residency. This was not deemed to be the case for the applicant in question.

The UN’s assessment of the Somali conflict differs from that of the Migration Board and is summarized by the Swedish embassy in Nairobi as follows:

“The refugee situation and the security situation are both such that sending people back to Somalia is not advisable.”

Migration Board chief Dan Eliasson said he shared the viewed that living conditions in Somalia and Mogadishu were harsh.

“But that in itself does not confer the right to protection under Swedish law,” he told Dagens Nyheter.