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Sunday, January 17, 2021

15 ‘back-way’ returnees arrested

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By Alagie Manneh

Police have arrested 15 Gambian returnees from Libya for allegedly attacking the International Organisation for Migration’s office demanding money they claimed was promised to them.
Malang Jambang, leader of the group, told The Standard at the Kanifing Police Station yesterday where they are being detained, that the IOM office in Libya gave them assurances that as soon as they returned to their home, each will receive 1000 Euros to support their reintegration into society.
But Jambang said the organisation has failed to live up to that promise.

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“That is why we took it upon ourselves to go to their office and demand for our money. We didn’t go there to cause any violence, contrary to what they told the police,” he explained while in custody.
However, consulted for comments, an IOM officer told The Standard that the returnees misunderstood how the organisation operates, emphasizing that no promises were made to hand out money to them.
“What they are claiming is false, because the IOM doesn’t give out cash to returnees. We have a reintegration package but even that is given in kind and not cash.”

The officer added that the package in question is “tailored to individual needs.
“We help the returnees based on what they want.”
He also accused the returnees of “pelting stones” at the IOM office.
The arrestees were expected to be released yesterday after dozens of relatives and family members turned up to bail them.

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