An organisation called Gambia Refugee Association – Europe Branch has been addressing letters to parliamentarians and political parties. According to them, if the government fails to act to find a solution to their problems, the deportation of Gambians will intensify in 2019. They gave example where the Interior Minister for Baden-wurttemberg Region, Thomas Strobl presented in a publication, dated 28th November, 2018, that there are 2500 Gambian refugees whose asylum applications have been rejected and are already identified for deportation. He is said to have expressed the plan to deport 15 Gambians a month until the whole group is returned. He is said to add that there are 5400 students who have either been interviewed or are waiting to be interviewed on their applications for asylum.

Such asylum seekers are said to be desperate and would want the intervention of all stakeholders at home to prevent asylum seekers from being forced to return to their country of birth. They claim that The Gambia is not ready to host returnees and provide them with knowledge, skills and resources to make ends meet. They prefer to be encouraged to work and acquire skills that will enable them to contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country. They expressed their vision to focus on capacity building of asylum seekers so that they would acquire the skills that would enable them to serve their country should they wish to return.

We therefore hope that all stakeholders will work together to convince our European partners to take a fresh look at how the refugee problem could be addressed. We are in agreement with the Gambia Refugee Association that mass deportation should be discouraged, professional and skills training should be offered to asylum seekers so that they can become productive, earn income and return to their country of birth.

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