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UNE sees no signs of a peaceful resolution to the war in Sudan in the near future. To prevent cases from being left unprocessed for a long time, UNE has decided to resume the processing of Sudan cases. At the same time, we are lifting the suspension of the obligation to return.
The temporary suspension of the obligation to return to Sudan was lifted on the 9 November 2023. The decision applies to both former asylum seekers and people with an obligation to leave after being denied a residence permit under other parts of the legislation.
In May 2023, UNE suspended the obligation to return to Sudan and also put the processing of Sudan cases on hold. The decision was based on the unclear and uncertain security situation in the country after the conflict between Sudan's armed forces, SFA, and the paramilitary force Rapid Sudan Forces (RSF) broke out on 15 April 2023.
According to reports from The Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre (Landinfo), there are no signs of an imminent solution or de-escalation of the conflict in Sudan. The security situation is described as very critical in Khartoum, Kordofan, and the Darfur states. In the north and east, the security situation is described as calmer, but marked by a large number of internally displaced people.
The lifting of the temporary suspension of the obligation to return does not mean that UNE considers it safe for everyone with previous rejections to return to Sudan. The situation in the country, as it appears today, does not mean that a general protection against return should be granted in all cases. The security situation must be assessed concretely and individually in each case.
Resuming case processing
At the same time as UNE suspended the obligation to return, the processing of cases from Sudan was put on hold. Given that the conflict in the country appears to be deadlocked, and that there seems to be no peaceful resolution to the conflict in the near future, UNE believes it is right to resume the processing of Sudan cases.
"We are keen to get started with case processing again, so that those staying in Norway can have their residency status clarified. Those who have the right to be here should be granted permission instead of waiting in uncertainty," says director Marianne Jakobsen at UNE. She emphasises that both protection reasons and humanitarian considerations will be taken into account in the assessments.
Those who have requested a new assessment of their case will get it. Everyone who has requested a new assessment and has been given a deferred implementation is allowed to stay in Norway until their case is reassessed. UNE closely monitors the situation in Sudan and will make concrete assessments in each individual case in light of the current security and humanitarian situation.
UNE cannot preempt how the results will turn out. It is the board leaders and board meetings that will decide the cases, and they are independent decision makers with the right and duty to consider what is the correct outcome in the cases they are processing.
How many are affected?
UNE currently has a total of 37 cases from Sudanese citizens covered by the current suspension. These include both appeals against UDI's decisions and requests for reversal over UNE's decisions. The number includes asylum cases, travel document cases, expulsion cases, and cases where a residence permit has been revoked. There are 24 individuals, and their cases will now be re-evaluated.
Sudanese in Norway can request a new assessment of their case
Those residing in Norway without an ongoing case at the UDI or UNE can request a new assessment of their case (request for reversal). If their case is not already being processed, they need to submit a request for reversal, either themselves or through a representative or lawyer. Individuals who request a reversal and are granted a deferred implementation are allowed to remain in Norway until their case is reassessed.
UNE monitors the situation in Sudan
In assessing the ongoing political, security, human rights, and humanitarian developments in the country, UNE will rely on a wide range of sources. In addition to existing reports, those prepared by Landinfo will be an important source of country knowledge for UDI and UNE. Landinfo is an independent body within the Norwegian Immigration Authorities that collects, analyses and presents country of origin information.