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Following Last Monday's Deportation

Aug 5, 2008, 6:41 AM | Article By: By Baboucarr Senghore

Youths Vow to Return to Europe

The last week deportation of a total number of 49 Gambian youths from the Kingdom of Spain has failed to break the resolve many youths who expressed their readiness to brave the precarious conditions to enter Europe despite the attendant consequences.

The search for greener pastures, which has been pursued as a matter of life and death by many a hope-starved Gambian youths, has in recent times been a source of worry, and all attempts to arrest the trend have come to nought as many continue to embark on the expedition.

The Point's no. 2 Garba Jahumpa Road office was yesterday virtually overwhelmed when some aggrieved youths who claimed to have formed part of the latest batch of deportees stormed the newspaper's newsroom to vent their dissatisfaction. "I have been in Spain for the past five months but I have never done anything that is against the laws of that country. So the authorities' decision is that they have deported us, which was not exactly what they told us. We have not done anything wrong", said one of the affected youths.

Quizzed as to whether he entered Spain through the illegal way, he responded in the negative, arguing that despite entering through the "

Back Way
", one should consider the risk taken in the process. He noted that despite the so-called hardship involved in such journeys, he would never relent in his efforts to enter Europe.

Europe, which has for years been looked forward to by

African youths as the only solution, is, in the view of many, a land full of opportunities. This is however not the case in the minds of many who believe that Africa too has a lot of potential and one should therefore be industrious enough to make the most of the opportunities available.

One Omar Conteh, a native of Baddibu, North Bank Region, blamed their deportation on those he termed as some unscrupulous Gambians in Spain. "You have some Gambians in Spain who are definitely not patriotic citizens of this country. How can you see your fellow Gambian and you pretend that you never know him before and at the end you even report him to the authorities so that he or she could be deported?" he fumed.

"If anyone tells you that the situation in Europe is horrible, then he or she is telling you the wrong information. You earn far more in few hours in Europe than you earn here in a month in Africa, especially in The Gambia," said one Mustapha Jarju, adding that he would do all he could to get back to Spain.

Another angry youth said: "Enough is enough. Our governments cannot provide jobs for us and they should accept that they can't. The remuneration out there is better than it is here. So we have to go.

"We have been struggling in this country day and night just to earn a living but it seems nothing could be achieved here. We've spent thousands of dalasis just to enter Spain or any other country in Europe. It is not our wish definitely but I believe we have to go."

This latest batch of deportees from the Kingdom of Spain comes on the heels of a few others in the recent past, involving mostly youths who embark on precarious, mostly sea, voyages to reach the European mainland.

It could be recalled that in July 2007, a total number of 75 Gambian youths were flown in to Banjul escorted by Spanish police officers. Each of these returnees according to reports, were given an envelope of 300 Euro.

However, the search for a solution has led to an agreement on co-operation in the area of immigration between the governments of The Gambia and Spain, whereby the Spanish government has pledged to provide funds for the construction of skills centres with a view to creating some vocation for the youth, as a way of curbing illegal migration. It is however note worthy that the agreement is yet to be implemented.

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