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The government of the United Kingdom (UK) has finally accepted Nigeria’s classification of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.

The Nigerian government had since 2017, designated IPOB a terrorist group, following widespread killings and acts of lawlessness,.

At the time, some countries including the UK did not acknowledge the declaration.

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Last year, UKVI released new guidelines to its decision-makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications to IPOB.

However, four days after the outlawed group beheaded an army couple, who were on their way to Imo State for their traditional wedding, the UK acknowledged IPOB as a terrorist organisation, directing that it should be excluded from its asylum programme.

The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) services said, “IPOB is proscribed as a terrorist group by the Nigerian government, and members of the group and its paramilitary wing – the Eastern Security Network (created in December 2020) – have reportedly committed human rights violations in Nigeria.

“MASSOB has been banned, but is not a proscribed terrorist group in Nigeria. It too has reportedly been involved in violent clashes with the authorities.

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“If a person has been involved with IPOB (and/or an affiliated group), MASSOB, or any other ‘Biafran’ group that incites or uses violence to achieve its aims, decision-makers must consider whether one (or more) of the exclusion clauses under the Refugee Convention is applicable.”



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