Gambia: Concerned Gambians to Engage Govt, Stakeholders Against Deportation

19 January 2021

A group calling itself- Concerned Gambians Against Deportation has assured the public that it remains committed to resuming its position to engage government and relevant stakeholders in the country in addressing deportation issues and concerns surrounding it.

Back in 2019, there was a moratorium in place with regards to deportation, following an agreement between Germany and the government of The Gambia.

In a media release sent to The Point, the group stated: "We the Concerned Gambians against Deportation, are aware of the resumption of the deportation of our Gambian brothers and sisters from Europe especially Germany after a moratorium on deportation was announced in 2019 by the Gambia government and Germany."

The start of the new trend, the release added, has raised alarm from and for both families, home and abroad, about the deportation of our citizens who struggled through the journey of turmoil to change their livelihoods and that of their families.

"Since the arrival of the first 20 deportees, we have been closely monitoring the situation and also keeping in touch with our brothers and sisters in Europe on the reasons for the resumption of the deportation. Also, we were expecting to see the reaction of our government and relevant stakeholders on the issue and what exactly they know about it. To our disappointment, the only step taken by the government was to go and pick these people from the airport and release them to go to their homes. We expected the government to at least talk to us about the issues surrounding the deportation, their involvement and stand on the issues. We understand that deportation involves diplomatic talks and it must involve governments and their authorities. Therefore, we want the government to tell us the reasons and justifications of the deportation and the role they are playing on the whole issue."

The release added that it's also important for the government to tell us how prepared are they are as a country to receive and reintegrate the deportees in the society being cognizant of the issue and trauma these people normal go through in the process of bringing them back.

"It is less ideal to just let them move into the society just like that, we have seen what happened in Brikama recently, where a deportee killed his father. This should be a wakeup call for the government to understand that, the issue of deportation is beyond bringing these people home but also the consequences of having these people freely move into the society. We have seen the Gambia Refugee Association-Europe Branch's press release, which outlined the issues concerning the deportation and how it is done. We are also aware that, these people are not only deported like that but their rights and dignity are violated by the deporting authorities who would put them in handcuffs and shackles on their legs. Such forms of violations are unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue in any way."

"In a nutshell, we the Concerned Citizens Group against deportation have been standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Europe for the past years in advocating for their rights and welfare to be respected as well as a status to stay and live around the world for their livelihood freely. We want to assure everyone concerned about this issue that, we are resuming our position to engage our government and relevant stakeholders here in the Gambia in addressing the deportation issues and concerns surrounding it. We will do all it takes for the government to react and speak to the Gambian people, home and abroad about their stance and involvement in the whole process and together what can be done in solving it.

We equally, want to assure our brothers and sisters in Europe that, we have started this together, we will never relent and they will never stand alone." The release added.

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