169 Gambians repatriated from Libya

Source Picture: The returnees

International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Aboard and the Ministry of Interior, has repatriated 169 Gambians from Libya.

This is the second batch of returnees following the repatriation of 140 Gambians sometime last month. (see here and here)

The deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ebrima Jobe, said consultations for the repatriation were done in collaboration with the IOM for Gambians living in Libya to come home voluntarily as “nobody was forced to return home”.

He assured Gambians that they would try by all means to repatriate the reminding Gambians living in Libya.

DPS Jobe added that there are more than 10 women, and babies as well as people, who are very ill among the returnees, but they would try to take care as they monitor their situation.

He assured the returnees that the Government of The Gambia will try by all means to ensure they are provided with all that they need to be able to stand on their feet again.

He also blamed the returnees for going to Libya after knowing that there is no legitimate Government in that country.

Fatou B., one of the returnees, said they were subject to all kinds of torture and they hardly eat enough nor were they able to look after themselves.

The 22-year-old, who is from Bansang but was living in Tallinding before she left for Libya, said she regretted travelling to Libya as conditions are harsh for migrants in that country.

Thank God, she remarked, that there is now a change of government in The Gambia hence she is optimistic that “things will finally change for the better so that there will hardly be victims like her again from The Gambia.

Johnsaba ., who left The Gambia last year June, was 4-month pregnant when she took the venture. And upon her arrival in Libya she was arrested and imprisoned for 7months. It was in prison that she gave birth to a baby boy, who is now three-month-old.

The 21-year-old, who is from Tujereng, said she had to venture into the perilous journey of going to Europe because of poverty. However, she regretted taking the venture.

“I was nearly killed because during my time at the prison the prison officers used to stand on my stomach and when it was time for me to give birth it really disturbed me and I suffered a lot; I even had complications and we hardly eat,” she narrated her ordeal.

“If you take half bread, that will be your meal for the rest of the day and if you work for them they never pay your salary and if you ask you are subjected to beating.”

Johnsaba said she is appealing to the Government of the Gambia to do something about their situation and to encourage and appeal to other Gambians who are about to embark on such journey not to venture.

“Because if they know what is in store for them in Libya they would rather stay here in The Gambia and die in poverty than going to that hell on earth,” she said.

Author: Kaddijatou Jawo

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The problem of "voluntarily return" is well known: When the living conditions of people are worse and getting more worse, people are imprisoned and faced with forced deportation, then it's hardly to tlak about "voluntarily return". The European Union make pressure to governments in Africa and other parts in the world to take "their" people back, wich sounds like people are not their own, like they belong to somebody. And we have to remind, that it was President Barrow himself who say after a "closed door meeting" with European politicians that he "wants everybody back". It seems, the system of deportation, whick is a fundamental part of the inhuman European policy now will possibly effect many people who run away from The Gambia. But still, the Gambia is not a safe country, still it is occupied by foreign ECOWAS troops.


Read a critical report about deportations: NEW GAMBIA AND ACCEPTING DEPORTED CITIZENS

President Barrow wants everybody back home

Foroyaa Newspaper, 20.03.2017

By Kebba Jeffang

The President of the Republic, Mr. Adama Barrow has returned to the Gambia on Friday evening, 17th March 2017 after concluding a 3 day working visit in France and Belgium. The tour enables him to encourage Gambians in Europe to come back and develop the country.

Speaking shortly after landing at the Banjul International Airport, Mr. Barrow told journalists his visit was to honour the invitation of the French President François Hollande after which he used the opportunity to continue to Brussels, the Belgian capital.

Rating the success of the trip, Barrow said it was a very good trip. “It was an invitation from President Hollande of France and it was killing two birds with one stone. It was a very good trip.”

He said the invitation was very important because France is a very strong partner in the EU which happens to be their strongest partner as well as biggest donor.

On whether any deal on immigration was reached or talked about, the President said: “We have discussed a lot of things and all the discussions were positive. They are ready to help and I think the Gambia has a lot of goodwill. That is the most important thing about the whole trip.”

He continued: “We have a discussion with a lot of people, government institutions, high officials of France and Belgium at the top levels.”

Asked about why the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Justice have not returned as they were part of his delegation, he responded that they have gone for other missions as some have travelled to England and others should be travelling to Asia.

“We had a meeting with Gambians and they were happy, the message was very clear as everything was direct, positive and we want everybody back home, all hands on deck so that we move this country,” he concluded.