By Tabora Bojang
A member of the German federal parliament from Baden-Württemberg Manuel Hagel, who was on an official visit to The Gambia has said two thirds of Gambian migrants whose asylum cases have been rejected will sooner or later be legally requested to leave the country.
The German MP made the remarks in a Standard interview on the sidelines of national stakeholders’ forum on migration hosted by the National Youth Council and a German support agency Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung based in Dakar at the Nana conference hall in Kanifing.
Since 2017, over 4000 Gambians are reported to have voluntarily returned from migrant transiting countries in Africa while many deported from Italy and Germany.
Asked about the scope of the cooperation between the German and Gambian authorities, Manuel said the nature of the partnership should be a local partnership, because Germany only have legal recognition for just 5% of the Gambians in Germany which means in the long run, 95% of all Gambians will be asked to leave the country.
He said from a legal perspective the German constitution requires that individuals whose asylum applications are rejected be not granted a legal right to stay in Germany.
He added that the federal government is supporting reintegration program to grant or assist local initiatives here in the Gambia for returned migrants to settle down well home.
Manuel further said 70% of all Gambians living in Germany are in the Württemberg region and for that reason it is “very important to intensify the partnership which currently is happening with security sector.”
The German parliamentarian who also held discussions with the vice president as part of his visit said the Germans are “very happy about the democratic development that took place in The Gambia the last two years” especially in the area of rule of law in the country and free press.
“We have met with Information Minister Sillah and we identified the potential areas of cooperation that we would like to support in and that is the creation of beehives in order to produce honey in the country that would offer a lot of prospects for many young Gambians and returnees from Germany”, Manuel said.
He disclosed that an official invitation was also extended to the Gambian officials, including the President to visit Germany on how they can further the cooperation to achieve more ‘prospective and value addition’ for Gambians in their country.
“Overall one can say this was the beginning of an ongoing dialogue, we have been very happy to be meeting with government officials, civil society organisations, and young people and we are very much looking forward to intensifying that cooperation,” he noted.