A group of agitated Gambian youths deported from Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Libya, yesterday, converged at the People`s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) party bureau in Churchill’s Town to express their frustrations and ‘disappointments’ against the Government of The Gambia according to report published by online newspaper sbngambia.
The youths explained the hardship they endured to travel across the Sahara Desert and the perilous Mediterranean Sea into Europe for jobs and protection, only to find themselves in detention centers. And finally, faces deportation after investing their entire resources in such costly journeys including selling their family lands.
The 24 returnees’ representatives of over 160 returnees expressed dissatisfaction on the side of The Gambia Government contribution to their forceful deportation by accepting European Union conditional Aid packages. This they said Barrow`s administration ‘betrayed’ them and their families they were out to help.
According to the group leader, their initial plan of action was to go the streets against the Coalition Government, which the Serrekunda NAM Halifa Sallah intervened for them to take a ‘dialogue approach’.
Mustapha Sallah a returnee from Sweden who claimed to have spoken to President Barrow and Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe on telephone from a Swedish detention center said President Barrow`s response to him was that it is not a ‘big deal’ to deport him and cited that him (President Barrow) was once deported from Germany.
The Gambia Government through the European Union (EU) financial support and the International Trade Centre (ITC) launched Youth Employment Project (YEP) worth 11 million Euros in a ceremony held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Thursday 9th February 2016.
For the returnees, this package signed by the Gambia Government was ‘selling’ them for money and depriving them the opportunity for residency in Europe to be able to help their families and contributes to the country`s GDP through foreign remittance.
They complained that they were forced to return and the Government promised to help them integrate into society, but instead have forgotten them. They said that they intend to stage a demonstration to put the Government to task, but according to them Halifa intervened and asked them to initiate a dialogue instead.