GRA faults gov’t over German mass deportation

Jan 20, 2021, 12:37 PM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe

The spokesperson of the Gambia Refugee Association has accused Gambia government of neglecting another intended win-win deportation joint framework with German authorities following last year’s engagement by Austrian migration expert and co-founder of think tank European Stability Initiative (ESI) on mass deportation of Gambians.  

Gerald Knaus, an Austrian social scientist and migration expert from the think tank European Initiative (ESI) in his win-win migration document framework between the government of The Gambia and the German authorities outlined areas of needed intervention by both the Gambia government and its German counterparts to avoid possible mass deportation of Gambians estimated at 2,600 asylum seekers.

Yaya Sonko, told The Point in an interview that early last year the said Austrian migration expert visited The Gambia three times where he was able to meet with the National Assembly Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, the National Youth Council, Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss his planned migration win-win framework policy document with authorities in Germany for possible avoidance of deportation of Gambians from Germany.

“I personally have to blame The Gambia government for the mass deportation of her citizens from Germany. This is because an Australian migration expert who is my friend informed me of his visit to the Gambia last year where he was able to meet with various government authorities to discuss and implement needed areas on a prepared win-win migration document framework against any planned deportation by the Germany government.

“But to his disappointment, assurances were only given but none of the implementation was done on a planned win-win framework document by the Gambia government to stop deportation of her citizens from Germany.

“And I can inform you that the Germans were very much convinced by the migration framework document whose parliamentarians and Interior Minister were only waiting on the Gambia to start implementation on the win-win migration document planned between two nations ,” he said.

The planned win-win migration document framework policy for implementation to prevent mass deportation of Gambians simply states that the government in Baden Wurttemberg region in Germany could decide to embrace a realistic policy that does not promise mass return of Gambians from Germany with a public declaration contained in an agreement.

“The document is stating that the German government should commit not to deport law-abiding Gambians, support Gambians to acquire skills needed for integration and contribute to the economy.

“So in return also the government of the Gambia should communicate to Gambians in Germany to get skills, learn and work to build a bridge between Gambia and Germany. And communicate to them that anyone sentenced to crimes would be deported to Banjul.

“To announce that The Gambia would also help identify and take back any of its citizens arriving irregularly in Germany after the date of the joint declaration with no rights to stay,’’ he stated.

The Point’s attempts to contact a spokesperson of Foreign Affairs Ministry who promised to get back for comment proved futile.