Britain’s home secretary has been accused of double standards after she said the situation in Sudan was “very different” to Ukraine and that the government had “no plans” to open up safe and legal routes for Sudanese refugees.
Suella Braverman said: “The situation is very different to Ukraine, so I wouldn’t want to draw those comparisons. We’re at a very early stage of the situation emerging in Sudan.”
When asked whether the UK would provide safe routes for Sudanese asylum-seekers similar to those provided to Ukrainians, she said: “We have no plans to do that.”
Braverman added: “Our priority first and foremost is to support British nationals, British passport holders and their dependents. That is our priority. That’s why we’ve commenced an evacuation mission.”
Chris Doyle, the director of the London-based Council for Arab-British Understanding, said that the “position of the British government on refugees, not just from Sudan but other countries, has been appalling.”
He added: “It has failed to provide proper safe passage to many of those fleeing persecution and war, including Sudan, to the UK, and instead they have been driven to the arms of criminal smuggling networks and then faced with being sent back or sent to Rwanda if they ever come to the UK.
“It jeopardizes Britain’s long-standing reputation for upholding refugee rights, and across the world people do see those double standards where Britain was all too willing to take in refugees from Ukraine — quite rightly — but closing their doors to those in similar situations from other conflicts.
“The prime minister also evaded the question in Parliament today and refused to answer a question about child refugees from Sudan coming to the UK.”
Members of the public have also criticized Braverman over the UK’s policy.
Twitter user @greenbenali posted: “Opening the door for Ukraine and closing the door to Sudan is racism. Pure and simple.”
A tweet from @jacqdodman said: “Wonder why Braverman thinks the situation in Ukraine is very different to the situation in Sudan? Wonder why she isn’t setting up safe routes for people fleeing war-torn Sudan in the same way she set up routes from Ukraine? What’s the difference? Why are they treated differently?”
User @kercle “wondered” why Braverman was reluctant to draw comparisons between people needing help in the two countries.
“I wonder, what's the difference between the much welcomed mainly white #Ukrainian war #Refugees & not welcomed mainly black #Sudanese war refugees then? Maybe we'll never know. #ToryFascistDictatorship #toryracists #BrexitReality #Brexitisland” @Kevcrq1975 tweeted.
Twitter user @ijb19662 tweeted: “Braverman stating that the Government seems to have a systemic racist approach to refugees from war! #Ukraine #Sudan”.
And user @EU_for_me said that Braverman’s answers were another example of her disregard for humanity.