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Home  >  News  >  Home Office U-Turn on Visit of South Sudan Ministers Welcomed

News

Home Office U-Turn on Visit of South Sudan Ministers Welcomed

                                                                                                                                           Friday February 23 2018

A controversial Home Office decision to deny visas for two influential South Sudanese ministers to visit the UK has been overturned – and welcomed by the Church of Scotland.

The ministers were coming to Scotland to be part of mediation and conflict resolution workshops funded by the Church, which begin in early March.

It is aimed at empowering faith leaders to help bring peace to their conflicted African country, which became the newest nation in the world in 2011.

One of the men, the Rev Orozu Daky, said he was “deeply disappointed” because it is was the first time he had ever been denied a visa, despite visiting Germany and Switzerland more than six times, the USA twice and Scotland once.

The Home Office yesterday reversed its decision after a plea from North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins.

 Welcoming the news, the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers said: "This was the response we were hoping for, I am delighted at this turnaround in events - now our course will go ahead as planned and with these two participants set to benefit from both advanced conflict resolution and an opportunity to experience a respite from the trauma of their everyday lives.

"When they return to South Sudan we expect them to be refreshed in themselves and carrying a new hope for the future of their nation."

North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins said: "Time after time visas are being denied to people with genuine reasons for entering this country. This costs them time, money and energy and while I welcome the fact that the Home Office has now granted access, it is simply not good enough that people have to jump through so many hoops to get here.

"I wish all those involved in the peace mediation programme well. This is a great initiative by the Church of Scotland on an area that has been so badly affected by conflict. The Government should be getting behind this work rather than adding more obstacles. "


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