By MUHAMMED S. BAH
This medium has been reliably informed that the German Refugee Council has recently published information expressing concerns over the deportation of Gambians from Germany.
In the statement, it is stated that the mass deportation of Gambians from Germany to the Gambia, causes considerable controversy in both countries, with recent reports by the Gambian Government of reaching agreement with the German Ambassador to suspend the deportations until further notice.
The report indicated denials of any agreement with Germany or other EU nations regarding repatriation by the Gambia Government, and further denied claims of having any hand in the deportation of her citizens.
The German Refugee Council said based on these information, they have received numerous inquiries from people who want to know the reality behind the deportation of Gambians from their country.
The information indicated that volunteer groups who work with refugees, can spread such information regarding an alleged agreement; that in view of this fact, the Refugee Council received the following reply from the Federal Foreign Office, after making enquiries about the deportation of Gambians which reads:
‘‘There is constructive cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Gambia in the area of returnees. Repatriations from Germany takes place on the basis of Best Practices for the efficient implementation of the Repatriation Procedure between the EU and Gambia, which was negotiated between the European Union and the Gambia Government.’’ That on the basis of this agreement, repatriations to Gambia will take place in future, although the next planned chartered flight was postponed.”
The information said there is no agreement to suspend the deportation of Gambians to their country; that last year, one Gambian journalist reported ongoing negotiations between the EU and the Gambia Government on his blog. The name of the agreement which he reported as being under negotiation at the time coincides with the name of the agreement to which the Federal Foreign Office refers.
The refugee council furthermore, said since last year, people from The Gambia have been asked at regular and short intervals, to speak to a Gambian delegation in Karlsruhe about the work of identity clarification.
It highlighted that, Employees of the Gambian Immigration Office are present at these interviews. It has happened in some cases those persons who did not have passports or other identity papers were deported after successful identification during these talks.
The Refugee council said it is therefore obvious from our point of view that some kind of document which facilitates the deportation of people who otherwise could not be deported due to lack of passport or papers can be produced on the basis of these interviews with the Gambian delegation.
Therefore, it stated the current deportations could not take place without the active cooperation of the Gambian authorities.
“We hope that this information will be useful for Gambian refugees and their supporters. On this occasion we would like to pass on the request of the Gambia Assistance Network to contact the Assistance Network with details of those affected in the event of deportations or attempted deportations: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org” it concluded.
Following this information, Foroyaa contacted the spokesperson of the Government Ebrima Sankareh on the issue of the deportation. Sankareh said Government is still working on putting an end on this deportation issue; that if anything arises, the public will be fully informed.
Foroyaa will keep the public updated on the outcome of the government on this issue.