By Aja Musu Bah Daffeh
The task committee facilitating Gambian returnees, who fled the country during the political impasse, on Tuesday, 24 January, 2017 completed their fourth day visit to the borders. The taskforce which includes the Red-cross team, the Coalition Reconciliation Council, National Security Council and Fire and Rescue Service board visited Jiboro-Senegalese border, Dimbaya and Darsilami borders to distribute water and food to the returnees from the neighbouring countries in order to sustain them before reaching their various destinations.
At Dimbaya, it was revealed earlier that 237 returnees came in the morning however, children and women are of higher percentage and sick people were among them. At Darsilami, they received 1058 on Sunday, 1071 on Monday and 370 returnees on Tuesday and report shows that the figure has started dropping at that place.
Speaking at the Jiboro-Senegalese border, Mr. Modou Manneh, the Officer Commanding, Jiboro Immigration, said the Indian committee in The Gambia donated juice, biscuits and water to the returnees to sustain them during their stay at the borders.
He described this as a wonderful gesture from the Indian committee as they are helping their own people who fled the country because of fear adding that most of them came back hungry and fatigue especially the children who are the most vulnerable.
He said they have been distributing water to the needy since on Monday 23rd. He acknowledged the government and the coalition team for their tireless efforts to remedy the situation. He also thanked his department for taking the lead by providing two buses for the returnees in collaboration with police force who also provided two buses, GTSC gave three buses and Fire service provides a minivan noting that they have all been loading.
The Chief Superintendent for Jiboro- Senegalese border, Karamba Jarju said from the 20th to date they have been receiving a lot of returnees and he said the red-cross society, Fire and Rescue Services together with the Police Force. He added that all the team on the ground have been doing tremendous job in coordinating the returnees adding that most of the returnees are traumatize and a lot of cases have been reported.
Ousman Baldeh, a resident of Banjul and a student of Crab Island lamented that he was controlled by fear that something might happen in the country which was why he fled to Guinea Bissau. “I was not happy and confortable in Guinea like in my country because I experience constrains like money problem,” he said. According to him, he left in a hurry that he left his identity card and his student identity card which make him face some difficulties at the border because he has no authentic paper with him.