By: Dawda Baldeh
On the deportation of Gambian citizens from Europe, Yahya Sonko, a prominent Gambian migration activist residing in Germany has called out Gambian Government for what he called “careless leadership” over the deportation issue.
Sonko made these remarks in an exclusive interview with The Fatu Network on 15th July 2023.
The migration activist challenged the government to point out a single example of where they made efforts to help address the plight of Gambian migrants facing deportation in the diaspora.
“They are careless. I challenge the government to point out a single example of where they made efforts in addressing the issue of deportation.
Years back, they denied signing the agreement and now is the time they are talking about it. They are sending immigration officials to the EU to help identify Gambians for deportation,” Sonko alleged.
When asked about the possibility of the government revising the said agreement, Sonko wasted no time in saying he is not hopeful.
“The government has betrayed the citizens. Years ago, President Adama Barrow was in Germany in search of greener pastures. He was deported and he never relent.
He tried and went to England where he established himself and then come back home to start a business. No youth will wish to stay in Euro forever. They are here to establish themselves because there is no hope at home,” he told this medium.
Mr. Sonko further explained that he will continue to work with partners in helping Gambians reintegrate into Germany.
He claimed that when the EU imposed a visa ban on the Gambia for not accepting the deportation of the citizens, the government acted swiftly because they [the government] were affected directly.
“They were concerned because they were not given visas to travel to Europe. If you see they are silent about the issues is because none of their families are affected.
The only people affected are the poor families and government is not interested in helping them…,” Sonko added.
The young migrant activist noted that the deportation will further lead to insecurity in the country, citing several murder incidents that were committed by deportees due to mental health problems.
“This deportation will increase the country’s insecurity. We all remember the man who killed his father in Brikama. He was a deportee with mental illness, and the Bakau incident that led to the vandalism of the Bakau police station was also committed by a deportee; just to name but a few,” he mentioned.
From January to date, over one hundred and sixty-five Gambians have been deported back from EU countries particularly Germany; while twenty-five more are expected to arrived in Banjul on 26th July 2023.