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US Embassy urged to improve communication with citizens

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By Omar Bah

Demba Hydara, a United States citizen and Ambassador of the Pan-African Council in West Africa has urged the US Embassy in The Gambia to be more proactive in addressing the plights of African-Americans living in the country.

Hydara, who is responsible for defending the rights of African-Americans in the US and West Africa added:

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“We have observed that the US Embassy has not been proactive in terms of responding to issues affecting African-Americans living here. We appealed to the embassy to do everything to address this matter.”

He said The Gambia has been among African countries receiving the highest number of African-Americans. “We have a lot of African-Americans influx because of the brutality they are facing in the US. I have received a lot of complaints from them about the embassy’s lack of timely response to their requests,” he said.

Hydara who is also respected for his voluntary work, supporting homeless Africans in the US, urged the US State Department to engage the embassy and address the issue.

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“I personally sent an email to the embassy to bring these issues to their attention but there has not been any response,” he lamented.

Visas

 On the high number of US visa refusals Hydara said the US should understand that the Gambia is a poor country.

“We are concerned that in every 100 Gambians who apply for a visa, only 2 percent are granted. These applicants pay a lot of money to acquire a visa. I want the embassy to be transparent about the number of Gambians who applied last year and those who were granted. We cannot continue seeing our young people spending money on visa applications only to be rejected. That is unacceptable and should stop now,” he said.

Hydara also urged the US government to increase its support to The Gambia especially in the area of youth empowerment. “They should invest in the areas of agriculture and entrepreneurship to support our young people so that they will stay and work here,” he said.       

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