THE GAMBIA WILL ACCEPT DEPORTEES FROM EUROPE!
The Gambia, like many other African countries, is between the ‘Rock’ of EU demands and the ‘Hard Place’ of what Gambians themselves want.
The EU wants African governments to accept Africans deported from Europe, either as “failed asylum seekers” or convicted criminals.
Africans do not want African governments to make it easy for Europe or America to deport African refugees/asylum seekers.
The easiest solution for African governments is to say “NIET” to Europe – because that is what we all want. But we have a problem and it is called “beggars can’t be choosers”!
We depend on Europe for development support for which the EU requires a quid pro quo:
“A constructive cooperation on returns is important especially given the partnership between The Gambia and the EU and the support that the EU continues to provide to the country – financial support per capita is among the highest in the whole of Africa”,
And the EU warns of:
“ … the EU’s expectations on improving cooperation on return and readmission, and the possible consequences in case cooperation did not improve”.
The choice is pretty straight forward:
To sacrifice EU budgetary support and development aid support;
To sacrifice the Gambian failed asylum seekers waiting to be deported from Europe.
The answer to the problem too is simple:
Europe is really not interested in the niceties of discussions about Europe’s own obligations to refugees/asylum seekers under the Geneva Convention. They have the power and they make the rules (afterall, Geneva is in Europe!). Neither are they interested in debating who is and is not a Gambian. If they conclude that someone is a Gambian, that is it: they don’t want to be questioned on that!
And we Africans must cave in to the EU’s demands: we have no choice! As Information Minister Ebrima Sillah says:-
“It is not the wish of any country to reject your own nationals anyway and that is not the position of The Gambia government”.
Notting Hill, UK.