BY Kebba AF Touray
The Assistant PRO of the Gambia Immigration Department, revealed that four(4) batches of 648 Gambian migrants have so far been returned from Libya in just five(5) months, but there are still more Gambians to be repatriated. As reports unveil, many Gambians are currently stranded and suffering in Libya.
Mr. Ismaila Jammeh made these statements at his office in Banjul on Friday 2 May, 2017. He said despite this figure, more Gambian migrants are expected to be returned to the country, because reports are rife that these migrants are stranded by being kidnapped for ransom and tortured and exposed to all sorts of inhuman degrading treatment, and now want to return, but don’t have the financial means to do so.
On job creation, Mr. Jammeh said the GID has a scheme called the Expatriate Quota, which advocates for 80% of employment to be given to the Gambians and 20% to non- Gambians by all the companies operating in the country. He said this is aimed at promoting youth employment and will go a long way in integrating the migrants into the system, as they are also important in the development of the country.
He said factors such as peer and family pressure, unemployment and the mentality that they cannot make it in the country, make many youths to spend a fortune on perilous and deadly journeys, for greener pastures.
He said the Gambian Community in Libya in liaison with government, GID, Ministry of Interior, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and all other stakeholders are facilitating the repatriation of these migrants to the country and this is being financed by the IOM.
He said the GID is not totally opposed to migration, but want Gambians to acquire authentic documents so that wherever they go, they will be respected and their rights will also be respected and protected. He said without these documents, migrants are exposed to forced and mediocre jobs with little or no payment amidst torture and all kinds of inhuman treatment. He said the back way syndrome is depleting Gambia of its abled bodied youths who are key pillars in the development equation of the country. He revealed that more jobs will be created and the youths will have the chance to play their part in the socio-economic development of the country, with a view to curb or minimize the menace of irregular migration.
Mr. Jammeh finally urged Gambians, especially the youths, to get the needed documents so that they can be respected and protected from all the inhuman and degrading treatment and to also protect the integrity of the country. He called on all the stakeholders concerned, to put hands together, towards the development of the country.