Recently, the Danish Immigration Service announced a decision of reopening Somali people’s cases. In relation to this decision, I interviewed a Somali who is not being affected by this decision, but who has concerns about other Somalis – those who have permits but whose permits will not be renewed.
“Mzee” is a 38 years old, married man from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. He has four kids whereas the oldest is 11 years old and the youngest is just three months old.
I asked “Mzee” about his life and working background. He came to live in Denmark 22 years ago. He went to school for 6 years, then he worked for five years. But after that, he never had continued a job. He has been jobless but during some short times, he has been in between jobs. It usually depends on the job opportunity of his interest.
I questioned him about the route from Somalia to Denmark. There were many borders that most Somalis were passing through to reach Europe. Some of these were Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria, Tunisia and then Greece. But there was a shorter way which was through Libya and then Greece, but he was lucky to come the easy way. “I flew from Kenya to Denmark”, said “Mzee”.
For the first time Danish Immigration Service informs that the 1,200 cases to be screened cover 1,450 persons (of these 165 school seeking children). Of these, approximately 220 have been granted asylum (7,2) first time between 2002-2011 and have had the permits extended afterwards. The remaining approximately 1,230 persons have been granted asylum (7,2 or 7,3) first time in 2012 and onwards.
Persons who have had their permits extended after 20.02.2016 will not be part of the screening. Some Somali refugees in Denmark now risk losing their residence permits. In 2012, Denmark was forced to align its practice with a judgment by the European Court of Human Rights. It was the so-called Sufi and Elmi judgment, which said that the overall situation in Mogadishu was so dangerous that everyone coming from there should have protection. But now the Danish Refugee Appeals Board has expelled five Somali refugees, referring to recent reports of improved security in Mogadishu.
The Danish Immigration Service has indicated that it will screen 1,200 Somali cases to see if the home conditions played a sufficiently significant role in determining the grant of residence permits to them. Those affected will receive a letter and their cases will go to a hearing. Unless they have a particularly strong attachment to Denmark for other reasons, they risk being expelled from the country.
Fear for other Somalis
I asked him a question about whether he was aware of the Danish Immigration Service Decision or not, as some Somalis are not aware of it.
“Mzee” answers: “I knew about the Immigration service’s decision to reopen the Somalis’ cases and send some of them back home. But this is the Somali warlord’s dangerous game against Somali refugees in Denmark. Somalia is not a safe country. The Danish Government is starting to return about 1200 Somalis. The warlords have the control of the government in Somalia. The regime is only concerned about how to earn money for their own pocket. They never consider the outcome of their decisions for the people of the country”.
I asked him if he will be affected by the decision, or if he knows any other Somalis who could be affected and forced to go back to their country.
“Well, it´s not me who will be affected but with this kind of decisions, I have a concern about the many other Somalis with permits that their permit would not be renewed, and for sure it’s very dangerous for them if they send them back. There is no guarantee that they will not get killed,” ”Mzee” responded.
The Danish Refugee Appeals Board has expelled five Somali refugees, referring to recent reports of improved security in Mogadishu. But Mzee says that Somalis stress because of the Somali Government which is careless about the Somali people and controlled by the warlords. Their only intention is to earn money from any possible sources. Security improvement is not in countable percentage. Somalia is still dangerous.