Background: The Somalian deportees thwarted by their unusual dialect


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Every year hundreds of Somalis claim asylum in Britain, many of whom are fleeing the threat of Islamic militants.

The UK Government acknowledges that the country remains too dangerous to return people to areas outside the capital, Mogadishu, but even there the situation is far from safe. The Home Office’s own guidance states that the city’s four main hospitals treated 4,412 people for weapons injuries last year.

The Islamic terror group Al-Shabaab, which was responsible for an assault on the presidential palace in February in which a government official died, has also warned that individuals returning from the West would be targeted as infidels.

Some of those fleeing Somalia are Bajunis, who live on the islands off the country’s south coast. As they speak a specific dialect, Swedish linguistics firm Sprakab has often been called in to determine whether those claiming to come from the islands are genuine.

Because the Bajuni dialect is very unusual, they have trouble communicating with Sprakab’s analysts, who may assume they are lying. A faulty analysis may result in them being mistakenly deported to Tanzania or Kenya.