Over a dozen Senegambians detained

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Point has learnt that over a dozen Senegambians are currently being arrested and detained while trying to sneak secretly from Turkey to cross into Europe.

Majority of detainees include citizens from other parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Nonetheless, The Point was able to establish that a dozen Senegalese and at least 5 Gambians are among those held.

Confirming the news to The Point, Mamadou Tambadou, a successful businessman who met this correspondent in Madrid, Spain, just few weeks ago, confirmed that his cousin is among those held.

‘‘Unfortunately my cousin is among them... I personally offered him money to start a business in Dakar, work hard and make something for himself...but his only dream was to travel abroad’’.

The Sengambians who are still determined to cross over the Europe were either intercepted or picked-up by police or the county’s coast guards in various cities and towns across Turkey.

Hundreds of other Middle Eastern men are currently detained and questioned. In the process, certain East European nationals were also arrested for ‘‘suspected human smuggling’’.

Over the past few years, thousands of migrants are known to have crossed into Europe via Turkey in order to escape war, political persecution, famine or economic circumstances.

The war in Syria and other conflicts within the region is also contributing to the problem.

There are thousands of Senegambians in Turkey and the country has been generous to both refugees and migrants. However, the authorities are currently struggling with an ‘‘unprecedented influx’’.

As a result, several European countries are facing various dilemmas trying to distinguish those fleeing genuine persecution and those merely seeking for greener pastures.

It is also important to note that Turkey has been targeted as a vital route for such refugees trying to enter Europe via various means thus encouraging human smugglers from both within and outside the country.   

The Turkey’s government and its European partners said they are working extremely hard to tackle the difficulty, prompting calls made by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to help assist in tackling the problem before it is too late.

Author: Alh Mbye, UK Correspondent