By Standard Newspaper
The Gambia government has rebuffed as unfounded allegations that it has entered and agreement with European Union to send back Gambian hustlers into the country in exchange of money.
Saikou Ceesay, the press officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Gambians Abroad said the repatriated Gambians selected to come back home on their own accord from Libya where they have been living in horrendous conditions. “The Gambia government as a responsible authority has to act to protect Gambians wherever they are and so through collaboration with International Organisation for Migration, some 140 migrants including three Senegalese arrived back in the Gambia,” he said.
Mr Ceesay said Government is obliged to answer the call of its citizens at any time and it will continue to do so whenever the need arises.
Meanwhile speaking to journalists on arrival at the airport, Bakary, a native of Tallingding said he has been in detention in Libya for months and in very poor condition, including lack of food and other essentials. “I have come back and I think Gambians should have faith and stay and work here. I thought the back-way was going to be good but it was terrible and very risky,” he said.
Another, who would not give his name, narrated similar ordeal on the back-way.’ ‘I suffered so much on this back-way and I was imprisoned in Libya,” he said.
According to Mr Ceesay, the IOM facilitated the repatriation and also provided each returnee with some D2500 pocket money to help them settle down back in their community. He said the returnees have all been cleared by the Immigration and have since re-joined the families. He said the Senegalese nationals among them are being helped by their Embassy in Banjul.