The Finnish Immigration Service says a new assessment of the security situation in Somalia shows improved security in many areas. The finding is expected to affect new asylum decisions. The advisory is similar to a similar policy update adopted by immigration authorities last week, in which they also said that the security situation in Iraq had improved in many of the country’s conflict zones.
The Finnish Immigration Service announced Tuesday that it had updated its guidelines concerning the situation in Somalia. The authority said that security had improved in the Somali capital Mogadishu, a factor that would affect future asylum decisions.
The Immigration Service noted that while the overall situation is still difficult and that living conditions in many partf of the country remained challenging, the security situation had improved in central and southern Somalia. As a result it said, people coming from these regions «cannot be considered to run a personal risk of falling victim to violence.»
Asylum decisions on a case by case basis
The agency went on to say that applications for international protection would be considered on a case by case basis and would be decided on the basis of the applicant’s account of personal persecution. These accounts would then be weighed against available information on the security situation in different parts of the country.
Asylum seekers entering Finland from Somalia include many individuals generally considered to be in need of international protection. They include women and children, members of sexual minorities, persons considered guilty of violating Islamic Sharia law and regulations laid down by the extremist group Al Shabaab as well as individuals fleeing forced recruitment into armed groups.
Last week the Immigration Service issued a similar guideline update on Iraq, saying that many previuosly war-torn areas were now safer for residents. It also said at the time that the security assessment would affect future asylum decisions. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry had issued a travel advisory warning Finns against travelling to Iraq, and describing the security situation as «very poor».