Oct 31, 2008, 7:35 AM
we all know is a hot topic in many developing countries including The Gambia.
Also known as the ‘Back-way’ in The Gambia, the perilous journey goes through
several African countries and then across Sahara desert and onboard inflatable
boats across the Mediterranean Sea.
It was reported in our yesterday’s edition that Germany is planning to deport at least 3, 400 Gambians, who are reported to be illegally living in Germany. This is a huge number and there is growing concern and fear among many Gambians in Germany and even their families back home, especially those who relatives are currently under police custody.
As rightly stated by Mai Fatty as he ends his recent tour of Europe, Gambia must begin serious negotiation with European countries as The Gambia is not the only country facing this migration challenge.
Youths in other African countries are also embarking on this perilous journey and their home countries are refusing to receive its citizens each time EU countries try to deport them. But why is it only The Gambia as seen last year, is accepting its citizens from these EU countries mostly in humiliating manner. Europe must engage African countries including The Gambia by educating and training our citizens with life skills to be productive citizens rather than sending them back without skills. Keeping them for years without doing anything does not tell well. Africa though has lost thousands of its promising youths in the hot deserts and in their attempt to cross the vast expanse of sea. However, those who survived this dangerous journey are making a great impact on the lives of their families back home.
The monthly remittances they send back home helped many poor families in their daily commitments. Germany should critically look at its deportation policies especially when relating to citizens from The Gambia, a country that has just emerged from 22 years of brutal dictatorship, with numerous security challenges and right abuses. Let’s dialogue and find a common solution to this problem.
‘‘The word nobody wants to use, but you see if you are here illegally, that’s the punishment, deportation.’’