Spain, Gambia sign no migration agreement

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The minister of Interior, Mr. Ebrima Mballow has said that there is no migration agreement between the Spanish government and that of The Gambia regarding the fate of Gambians residing in that European Country.

Speaking to reporters at the State House after a meeting between President Adama Barrow, Vice President Ousainou Darboe and the Spanish Minister Mr. Fernando Grandea Marlaska Gomez yesterday, Mr. Mballow said The Gambia has not reached any concrete agreement with Spain on this matter until now.

“Migration is a global phenomenon that has been ongoing for a long time in history. Efforts geared towards tackling this global trend and compacts of migration have been ongoing. However, the government has not signed any agreement with Spain currently,” he said.

This is the first time a Spanish Interior minister visited The Gambia. Minister Ebrima Mballow described the Spanish Ministry as “genuine partners in development” particularly when it comes to security.  He said after 22 years of authoritarian rule, Gambia’s security forces face a serious low capacity in equipment.

Hence this bilateral cooperation being explored will address such issues to further strengthen the security capabilities of the country. The Spanish diplomat is in Banjul as a guest of the Interior Ministry, to discuss and strengthen bilateral relations based on a 2006 cooperation agreement signed by their respective ministries.

President Adama Barrow expressed gratitude to the Spanish government for their interest in renewing bilateral cooperation between the two countries. He advised that issues of security and migration must take into consideration particularly matters relating to socio-economic challenges facing The Gambia.

Hence development strategies should focus on building capacities to empower youths, empower national economy for jobs creation and reduce risks of criminal activities across borders. The bilateral cooperation touches on issues of security, migration, fight against terrorism and other areas pertinent to the development of The Gambia.

Mr. Fernando Grandea Marlaska Gomez on his part explained to reporters that Spain and The Gambia are going to collaborate and work together on training for security forces. Areas of civil protections, transnational criminal activities such as narcotic networks, terrorism and irregular migration networks are a common concern for both countries.

“We agreed that security should not be our only area of consideration… other social and economic areas are equally important to security. If we want to get peaceful relations between Europe and Africa, we have to get into development,” he said.