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Belgian Government at Risk of Collapse Over Sudan Migrants Scandal

Belgium’s coalition government is at risk of collapse over a scandal involving the forced repatriation of 100 people to war-torn Sudan. The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, appeared on TV on Monday to insist he would not be intimidated by “blackmail or threats” after the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA), a Flemish nationalist party that is one of his three coalition partners, warned that it could withdraw support for his administration over the affair. The consequences of decisions taken by Theo Francken, a member of the N-VA and the minister for asylum and migration, are being examined following claims that some Sudanese migrants came to harm after he allowed three of the country’s officials to inspect their cases before they returned.

Fears have been raised that Sudan’s government, led by Omar al-Bashir, was in effect allowed to handpick political opponents for repatriation from Europe. Bashir, who came to power in 1989 after a military coup, is wanted in The Hague over allegations of crimes against humanity. On Sunday, Bart De Wever, the N-VA leader, said he would rather bring down the government than allow such a senior representative of his party to be forced out.

Read more: Daniel Boffey, http://bit.ly/2AHbUVU

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