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IPOB member holds Biafra flag

The United Kingdom has denied reports that it added separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to a list of terrorist groups banned from the country.

“We are aware of inaccurate reporting circulating in the media and online that the UK Government has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law. These reports are untrue. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not a proscribed organisation in the UK,” a statement from the UK high commission in Nigeria said on Friday.

“The inaccurate reporting relates to the 13 April 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information note (CPIN) on separatist groups in SE Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). CPINS provide country of origin information (COI) and analysis of COI for use by UK Government decision-makers handling particular types of protection and human rights claims.

“All asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on their individual facts in accordance with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account relevant background country information and case law.

“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), provides a general assessment of risks faced by individuals belonging to those groups. These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available country information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources including media outlets; UK and other governments; local, national and international organisations; and non government organisations.

“This CPIN also acknowledges that the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, some members of IPOB have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection.

“The document is publicly available on our UK Government website, Gov.UK at www.gov.uk/government/publications/nigeria-country-policy-and-information-notes.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian governor, relying on the apparently inaccurate report of the UK prescribing IPOB as a terrorist group, on Friday evening, released a statement welcoming the decision.

“Nigeria welcomes the decision by the United Kingdom to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group,” a tweet from the official Nigerian government twitter handle read.

“The violent secessionist organisation has long been proscribed as such in Nigeria where it carries out the majority of its murderous activities.”

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