52 Gambians have returned from Libya yesterday, Tuesday, 18 December, 2012, arriving through the Kerr Ayib - Farafenni border post in the North Bank Region at around 7:55 am.
Speaking shortly after their arrival, Superintendent Ensa Jawara, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), said the number of returnees from Libya is increasing and noting that this group of returnees came with a bus through Senegal to the Gambia.
He gave the breakdown of the number of returnees according to regions and which shows as thus: Banjul none, Kanifing Municipality 9, West Coast Region 9, North Bank region 8, Lower River Region 9, Central River Region 4 and Upper River Region 13.
Earlier, a first batch of 226 people was returned from Libya, followed by 24 others as the second group. This however is the third batch of returnees from Libya and it is also the second largest group within two months. It was also reported that 40 young people were also apprehended at Kerri Ayib Immigration post while en-route to Libya and where detained and bailed at the Immigration Training School in Janjai.
According to the GID PRO, since these people are returnees and not deportees, it the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which facilitates their return and with the support of the Gambia Government through the Immigration Department and the Ministry of the Interior.
Superintendent Jawara said when these groups land they are immediately handed over to their respective family members who come to receive them. He urged the young people to desist from embarking on illegal migration which, he said, is hazardous and a waste of resources that could have been spent elsewhere.
The authorities at the Ministry of Youth and Sport and Interior will be approached to enquire what alternatives the governments have in place for these young people to encourage them to desist from these life risking journeys in search of greener pastures or a better life.