DEPORTATION OF GAMBIAN MIGRANTS AND THE RECONCILIATION PROCESS.
As a country trying to heal from the wounds of alleged rampant corruption of the first republic, gross human rights violations of the second republic, and the emergence of tribal politics and greed-for-power becoming more obvious in this third republic, the government needs to understand that they should be only be signing MOUs that would boost the spirit of unity and national reconciliation. But with the revelations we’re hearing since the commencement of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission sittings, it’s really obvious that the rumors circulating around social media about the mass deportation of Gambian migrants in Germany is a miss-calculated move by those individuals who have signed the deportation agreement because Gambia has more pressing issues to solve than signing the deportation of these young men and women. Would that not mean adding salt to the wounds?
The Gambia Government should be reminded that these migrants have risked their lives through the hot sand dunes of the Sahara Desert into Libya where they live in the most horrible conditions before been packed into boats and sent into the high seas with the expectation of anchoring at the shores Europe. Living in the 21st century but born in a country where the cost of living is high, limited available opportunities, small salaries scales and no hope in the government but wanting to alleviate himself/herself and his/her family from poverty might just be a few reasons why these men and women embark on this search for a better a life.
During the preparation of this journey, many have taken loans, others sold their families’ assets and others even never tendered a letter of resignation to their employers with the hope improving their lives and that of their families but along the way, others have died in the desert, others brutally killed in Libya, others have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea and others have survived to see Europe but have been going for routine medical check-ups and even died due to the abuses they’ve faced during the course of their journey.
Now that some of them, whom at-a-time were thought to be losers by other members of their families, are working hard and improving the living conditions of their families back home and constructing beautiful buildings, it’s really important for the government to allow these young men and women enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice but these questions still linger in my mind: 1- Has the government signed the agreement or not? 2- If yes, who signed or authorized the signing? 3- If no, why would they accept them? 4- Do they have any plans to integrate the deportees into society? 5- If there are plans, how realistic and sustainable are those plans?
6- If there are no plans for them, how would the government assure us about the safety and security of the country? In this healing moment of our beloved Gambia, we need a strong leader who sees the greater good as a priority but not someone who is easily moved by the millions of dollars of so-called foreign aids and grants to the detriment of the Gambian people.
This government really needs to step up and learn how to maneuver challenges in this game called “International Politics” where the slow ones always get kicked.
By: Dawda Nenegalleh Jallow