The decision

Heard at Field House

NG (Risk-Female Eyle-International Displacement) Somalia CG [2003] UKIAT 00011
On 10 March 2003


Date Determination notified:



Mr D K Allen (Chairman)
Mrs R Faux







1. The appellant, who was found by the Adjudicator to be a citizen of Somalia, appeals with leave to the Tribunal against the determination of the Adjudicator, Mr M J Fisher, who dismissed her appeal against the respondent’s decision issuing directions for her removal from the United Kingdom, having refused asylum.

2. The hearing before us took place on 10 March 2003. Mr T Walsh for Howells Solicitors appeared on behalf of the appellant, and Mr S Walker appeared on behalf of the respondent.

3. It is we think sufficiently clear from the Adjudicator’s determination that he found the appellant to be credible. He therefore accepted, as we have noted above, that she was a citizen of Somalia and that she was a member of the minority Eyle clan. We consider that he made a positive finding at paragraph 18 of his determination that she had been subjected to violent behaviour in early 1991 including an attempt to rape her and a whipping. Thereafter she spent some 10 years in hiding moving from place to place, staying with a family, neighbours of her family. In March or April 2001 they decided they could no longer keep her with them. They decided to go to Kenya and she went with them on the understanding that when they arrived she would have to make her own way. On arrival she met and married a man from her own village but a month later he said he had arranged for her to leave the country as Kenya was unsafe for illegal immigrants and the plan was for her to go to the United Kingdom where she arrived on 20 July 2001.

4. The Adjudicator had before him the report of an Anita Adam and the UNHCR report on minority groups. He noted from the latter that there were no indications that the Eyle were at present targeted by the main Somali clans although insofar as they might live in unstable areas they could become victims of armed conflicts and thereby minority status made them vulnerable. He also noted that the Country Assessment of the Home Office noted that persecution solely on the basis of clan membership or ethnicity was now very unlikely in most areas of Somalia. The Human Rights Overview indicated that much of the countryside of Somalia was considered safe and basic law and order was in fact the norm in most locations.

5. Before us Mr Walker argued that the Adjudicator in this paragraph of his determination had taken account of the objective evidence before him and found that the claim was not objectively well-founded. He referred us to the specific paragraph of the Minority Report concerning the Eyle and also the Bantu of whom the Eyle are a sub-group. He accepted that the appellant would go back alone without family support since the whereabouts of her family was unknown and there is no indication as to the whereabouts of her husband whom she had last seen in Kenya. He accepted that it seemed she would have to go to a camp as an internally displaced person and he accepted that the camp conditions were not ideal for unaccompanied women.

6. Mr Walsh took us in some detail to his bundle, and in particular to the Commission on Human Rights report of 31 December 2002 being the UN report of an independent expert concerning the situation in Somalia in the field of human rights.

7. Among other things this report indicates that violence against women and girls, including rape, is reportedly not uncommon in Somalia, particularly in camps for displaced persons and against women and girls of rival clans and those of minority groups. It is also said that the minority groups, and there is reference among others to the Eyle, continue to live in conditions of great poverty and suffer numerous forms of discrimination and exclusion. They are considered to be inferior without full rights, hence their low social, economic and political status. Credible reports indicated that the dominant Somali groups believe that members of the minorities are mere chattels and their forefathers were slaves and they are only allowed to work in menial jobs. Displacement is said to be a serious problem in Somalia and it is said that some 350,000 of the country’s 7 million inhabitants are internally displaced persons and they constitute nearly half of the estimated 750,000 Somalis who live in a state of chronic humanitarian need. Many internally displaced persons are persons of minority groups. An encampment visited had very poor conditions, perhaps even to a degree unfit for human habitation. There were allegations of sexual assault by local militia men. The United States State Department report indicates at pages 58 to 59 of the bundle that members of minority groups continue to be subjected to killings, harassment, intimidation and abuse by armed gunmen of all affiliations.

8. Mr Walsh made the point to us that the reference at paragraph 5.50 of the October 2002 Somalia Country Assessment that persecution solely on the basis of clan membership or ethnicity is now very unlikely in most areas of Somalia is based on references in the late 1990s and could not therefore be said to be up to date. There is reference at paragraph 5.49 to Amnesty International regarding certain minority groups including the Bantu as vulnerable. In September 2000 a Joint British and Danish Fact Finding Mission report on minority groups in Somalia, the Eyle are said to have been scattered by the civil war. They are said to be considered dirty creatures by the “noble” Somali. Both the Hawiye and the Digil despise them.

9. It would seem therefore to be the case that the appellant would return to Somalia facing vulnerability on the basis of her membership of a minority despised sub-clan, as a woman, and as an internally displaced person. It must we think be accepted that she has had no contact with her family for more than 10 years, and the location of her husband is unknown. In the light of the Adjudicator’s positive credibility findings and the absence of any substantial challenge to the aspects of the objective evidence emphasised before us by Mr Walsh, we consider that, bearing in mind the low standard of proof appropriate in asylum and human rights cases, that the appellant has made out her claim. We accept that as a woman member of the Eyle sub-group she would be at significant risk, as an internally displaced person in a camp, on the one hand of persecution on account of membership of that sub-group, albeit that that might only be an aspect of the reasons behind the problems she would suffer, but that more particularly there is a real risk that because of the three factors that we have identified above that her Article 3 rights would be at real risk of being breached on return as an internally displaced person living in a camp in Somalia.

10. We therefore allow her appeal.

D K Allen
Vice President