By Omar Bah
Agroup of Gambians deported from Europe arrived at the Banjul International Airport early yesterday.
The group, comprising of 33 Gambians was flown into the country on a chartered flight from Germany.
The director of diaspora and migration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Musa Camara said the 33 were deported from Germany, Italy and Belgium.
He said 23 are from Germany, 9 from Italy and 1 from Belgium.
The European Union (EU) and The Gambia government had agreed on a ‘Good Document Practice’ to accept deportation of Gambians from Germany.
Reacting to the deportation, migration activist, Yahya Sonko, said yesterday’s deportation breached the agreement between the Gambia and EU on the number of deportees at a time.
“We were told 25 migrants will be deported at a time but this time they brought 33 and there will be at least five flights of deportees in the coming months. We have engaged both governments to enquire about these deportation and the usual answer is that they have exhausted all their legal chances to stay in Europe. They also said there are few who commit crimes,” he said.
Sonko expressed concern about the country’s lack of proper reintegration process.
“We have been receiving a lot of deportees from the EU but as soon as they arrive in the country, nobody is there to help them reintegrate. The government should understand that deportation goes with responsibility. So if they agree for their citizens to be deported, they should make sure that they provide reintegration means for them,” he said.
He said some of the deportees are traumatised and without proper reintegration they will end up being burdens for society.
“The deportee who killed his father in Brikama, the Tanka Tanka incident where two people were killed by a deportee and even the Bakau taxi driver murder suspect’s case are all examples of the consequences of deportation,” Sonko said.