African Press International (API)

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Ceasefire signed in Burundi may now make it possible for the Norwegian police to send back rejected asylum seekers from that country

Posted by African Press International on May 27, 2008

Publisher: Korir, source.aljazeera

With many Burundi nationals who are asylum seekers in Norway, most of whom have been denied asylum in the country, the peace deal between the rebels and the government may now open the way for those who are denied asylum status to be returned to their home country. Most of them may find it difficult, however, to fit in if send back because they have stayed for many years outside their country.

Those who will face the problem are the ones who had used Burundi situation to apply for asylum and yet probably they do not come from there. If the Norwegian police decides to return them now that peace has been achieved in Burundi, they will have to give the correct information on where they actually come from in order to save themselves from being returned to a country they do not belong.

Burundi’sgovernment has signed a ceasefire agreement withthe National Liberation Forces (FLN), the country’s last remaining rebel group.
The deal was reached on Monday, after almost six weeks of fighting that left more than 100 people dead and thousands displaced.

The ceasefire is expected to bring peace to the small central African nation plagued by 15 years of internal conflicts.
At least 300,000 people have been killed in Burundi’s civil war that started in 1993.

“This is the first time that such a declaration of cessation of hostilities is signed,” Pasteur Habimana, a spokesman for the FNL, said.
“For Palipehutu-FNL [the rebel movement’s political branch], this means the war stops forever,” he said.
General Evariste Ndayshimiye, chief government negotiator and top military aide to President Pierre Nkurunziza, signed the agreement for the government side.
FNL leaders have returned to Bujumbura from exile to resume talks.
A ceasefire agreement was reached between the two sides in 2006 but it was never implemented.

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