assertion by the new Mauritanian ambassador that Gambian migrants living in his
country receive good treatments “just as Mauritanian citizens” has been
described as misleading propaganda.
“It is far away from the truth. In fact, we are routinely pursued and arrested by the police at Clinique [the centre where migrants converge to find work] because we don’t have residential and work permits,” said Tapha, a Gambian youth who lives in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, for the last three years.
The new Mauritanian ambassador to The Gambia, El Hacen Mohamed Awan, after presenting his letters of credence to President Adama Barrow last week, told journalists at the State House that Gambians in Mauritania “are well respected and living there [in Mauritania] without problems”.
“I can’t believe that he said this,” the 25-year-old Gambian said in an interview via WhatsApp after reading the story on The Point website.
The young man who only wishes to be identified as Tapha said the Mauritanian ambassador’s statement was propaganda and misleading to The Gambia government about the welfare of Gambians in Mauritania.
The man, a native of Badibou, said the ambassador should strengthen bilateral ties between The Gambia and Mauritania “with truth rather than propaganda”.
He also urged The Gambia government to investigate the conditions of citizens living in other countries so as to take care of their concerns.
Another Gambian, Ebrima Mbenga, said: “I worked at a school in Mauritania from February to December 2016 as an English teacher. During this period, I witnessed serious and series of maltreatment of Gambians in the hands of the police there. Even ordinary Mauritanians abuse migrants there.
“I can’t condone this deceptive speech of the ambassador while fellow Gambians continue to suffer disparaging treatments in Mauritania.”