Mass Deportations: Youth Movements issue Joint Statement to Government

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By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT

1. Context

A coalition of Gambian youths have written to express their “profound dissatisfaction with the Gambia Government’s continuous acceptance of mass deportations only for returnees to be given meagre compensation packages. Many returnees have survived immense hardships and the Government has a responsibility to ensure that returnees don’t exacerbate the current high unemployment rate.”

“Accepting deportations are part of the Government’s responsibilities however, they must be done responsibly and returnees must be compensated sufficiently. It’s high time that the Government takes responsibility for mass deportations and provide clear explanations as to what agreements are in place with which countries.”

2. Youth Leaders Statements
Youth Against Irregular Migration Secretary General, Bai Mustapha Sallah said “the government should come and talk to the general public about the mass deportations. Who approved the deportation and why? What will Gambia benefit from the deportation? What support or project does the Government have for the returnees?”

Hopes of Tomorrow Chairman, Ablie Krubally added that the Government should “stop accepting returnees without passports and provide better compensation packages for their successful and sustainable reintegration into society.”

Team Gom Sa Bopa President, Ali “Killa Ace” Cham felt that “the manner in which the returnees were handled on their flight back, shackled in chains, dumped on the road and allocated a meagre D200 per returnee is very degrading. As Gambians they should have been treated with dignity from the very moment they landed on home soil.”

3. Demands to Government
We the undersigned youth movements are thereby calling on the Gambia Government to;
1. Ensure that all returnees are compensated appropriately,
2. Implement appropriate projects for the sustainable reintegration of all returnees into society,
3. Explain to the general public who agreed the deportations on behalf of The Gambia Government and what has been agreed,
4. Stop accepting mass deportations especially for those without passports, and
5. Stop accepting returnees resident abroad for over 5 years.

4. Signed by the Coalition of Gambian Youths,
Youth Against Irregular Migration Secretary General, Bai Mustapha Sallah
Hopes of Tomorrow Chairman, Ablie Krubally
Team Gom Sa Bopa President, Ali Baba Cham

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