Gambia Government has not pen any agreement with the European Union or its member states to deport its citizens, said the spokesperson of the Government Ebrima Sankareh.
Gambia Government has come under severe criticism recently for reportedly agreeing to a deportation deal with the EU. In the past two months, about 30 Gambians were deported from Germany.
A group calling itself an Association of Gambian Refugees has already said they are going to protest against deportation in the country on March 7.
Below is the statement from Sankareh:
Contrary to widespread allegations trending on social media that The Gambia Government was complicit in the planned mass deportation of Gambian migrants from Europe, the government of The Gambia wants to make it categorically clear that these allegations are baseless rumors being bandied by detractors seeking cheap political popularity.
The Gambia Government has neither signed any deportation memorandum nor received any monetary rewards from any European country as is being continuously alleged by these detractors.
Like all responsible governments, The Gambia Government takes the plight of its citizens very seriously and will not sit idly by witnessing the suffering of its citizens whether home or overseas.
Therefore, immediately after assuming office in 2017, the government of President Adama Barrow engaged our allies in Europe to provide the necessary support and skills development to Gambian migrants. To date, more than 200 young people in Germany alone have benefitted from this program some of whom have been reintegrated in German society and making significant headways in their lives.
A similar package is extended to Gambians across Europe all of which goes to show the will and commitment of The Gambia Government to support our fellow citizens wherever they are.
The Gambian Government therefore, assures the public that it is not its policy to facilitate and or support the mass deportation of its citizens. On the contrary, the government is fully committed to improving the lot of its citizens and working hard to restore our longstanding diplomatic relations with European countries. It would be recalled that three years ago, much of our relations with these countries were severely dented making negotiations very difficult.
Therefore, citizens are urged to excise restraint and be more patient as we forge ahead in this our new dispensation
Furthermore, while the Gambian Government recognizes the rights of citizens to assemble peacefully, it wants to remind them to remain law-abiding and to always jealously guard the peace and security of our sacred motherland.
Ebrima G. Sankareh
The Gambia Government Spokesperson