Former Interior Minister Mai Ahmed Fatty has denied his complicity into the deportation of The Gambian back way immigrants in Germany into the country. In a public statement issued today, Fatty accused his “detractors” of trying to soil his reputation with false reports linking him to collaborating with the European Union to get Gambian immigrants deported from Germany.
Fatty also denied benefiting from any EU funds to have Gambian migrants deported. He explained that while serving as Interior Minister, he helped to facilitate the airlifting of Gambian migrants, who were stranded in Libya to the country. He said the matter was tabled before cabinet and was approved.
This follows reports that African migrants were being sold as slaves in Libya. Fatty said The Gambian migrants in Libyan were exposed to horrible treatment prompting government’s intervention to bail them out from harm.
An announcement was made by the Barrow government to extend a free evacuation of Gambian migrants in Libya, when government learnt about the salve trade, he said. Fatty, who spoke in the local Mandinka dialect, also said that the airlifting of The Gambian migrants from Libya was made possible thanks to the intervention of the European Union.
The EU had provided a budgetary support of about four million Euros to help airlift The Gambian migrants from Libya, he said. Fatty added that he never handled the EU funds. All funds regarding the voluntary evacuation were handled by the EU, he said.
Fatty said his Ministry would merely receive the returnees at the airport on arrival and coordinate their safe departure from Libya. The International Agency for migration were also part of the team helping government to facilitate the evacuation of the migrants.
Fatty, who is an adviser to President Adama Barrow clarified that there was nothing shady about the evacuation of the migrants. He said the online video circulating on social media featuring him and EU officials about the repatriation of The Gambian migrants from Libya was aimed at tarnishing his image.
“There is nothing new about that video. It was reported by GRTS and other media houses in this country. When the first batch of The Gambian returnees from Libya arrived, I was at the airport to receive them. It was covered by GRTS. There are distractors bent on tarnishing my image. I have never received a butut from the EU funds that financed the safe evacuation of The Gambian migrants from Libya. Migrants responded to our invitation to evacuate them voluntarily from Libya. They came home on their own,” Fatty clarified.
Just of recent, a good number of Gambian migrants in Germany were deported to the country. More deportees are expected back home in coming weeks.