Protecting those fleeing violence in Sudan
Call to provide safe routes for people in need of protection.
External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson has written to the Foreign Secretary to express the Scottish Government’s deep concern over the current conflict in Sudan.
In the letter, Mr Robertson said a number of Scots and family members had been in touch with the Scottish Government and he thanked all those in the Armed Forces and UK Government currently working on evacuation efforts.
Mr Robertson also called for eligibility criteria to be eased to enable Sudanese citizens to be reunited with family members already in the UK, and for consideration to be given to the evacuation of non-British nationals who have worked for UK interests in Sudan.
The letter reads:
The Scottish Government stands with the UK Government and international community in deep concern over the spiralling violence in Sudan. While the current, fragile ceasefire is welcome, the situation appears bleak for Sudan, and the wider region, and we fully echo the UK Government’s call for a genuine and lasting ceasefire.
The safety of British Nationals in Sudan is of significant concern to the Scottish Government and a number of Scots and family members have been in touch with the Scottish Government. We fully support the UK Government’s evacuation of all British passport holders and I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to those in the Armed Forces and across the UK Government who are working on this.
The Scottish Government also wanted to put on record our deep concern for Sudanese people at risk in this crisis who will be looking for safe passage out of Sudan. In particular:
- We would call for consideration by the UK Government of evacuating non-British nationals who have worked for UK interests in Sudan.
- Secondly we would ask for eased eligibility criteria for family reunion to enable Sudanese citizens to be reunited with family members already in the UK.
- We seek your assurance that the Home Office asylum caseworker guidance on Sudan has been updated. While I understand that each asylum application must be considered on its individual merits, asylum applications from Sudanese nationals in the UK should be considered quickly and compassionately. I also expect the Home Office to urgently review any cases which are in the asylum appeals process or where people have previously been refused asylum on the basis that any part of Sudan is safe.
- And finally we would be grateful to know what the UK Government is doing, in partnership with the international community, to provide safe routes for people in Sudan in need of protection.
Within Sudan the humanitarian situation is now critical. Indeed, as the Minister of State for Development and Africa updated the House of Commons yesterday, approximately 16 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. This is deeply concerning, particularly given a global context where humanitarian needs are severe in a number of regions around the world.
The UK Government and the wider international community must do everything possible to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people in need. Like you, I am shocked and saddened that 5 aid workers have been killed during the current violence in Sudan, and we condemn any and all attacks against humanitarian workers.
The situation in Sudan is incredibly grave. I urge the UK Government to do everything possible to work with international partners to address the humanitarian situation and to offer protection for those fleeing the violence.
I look forward to your response.
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