169 Gambian migrants await Niger repatriation
The minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, on Tuesday told lawmakers that about 169 stranded Gambian migrants are awaiting repatriation from Niger.
He also revealed that over 100 migrants currently in Libyan immigration detention centers are on the verge of repatriation to The Gambia.
“We have a huge amount of young mentally ill Gambian roaming the streets of Italy and other European countries,” Minister Tangara told legislators.
“I want to inform this August Assembly that my ministry did not seek for the ratification of The Gambia Swiss agreement. The Office of the Clerk requested from my ministry to sign the agreement, relating to immigration which was shared following the receipt of an agenda with three items to be ratified including this agreement,” he clarified.
“These include what had been discussed at cabinet level and the Foreign Service Committee before it is brought to the Assembly. Furthermore we have to pursue our personal interest in whatever agreement before ratifying it. There are parts of the agreement that need to be fulfilled by parties before it could be ratified by NAMs.
The Minister explained that there are requirements and procedures to be followed before a motion could be tabled at the Assembly for Ratification of an international agreement.
Shedding light on the Good Practice Document, the Minister said “it’s a standard operating procedure for managing the return of Gambians who have exhausted the right to stay within the European Union. It is a re-admission arrangement or a memorandum of understanding on the modalities of return which was not signed by either parties and/or it is not an international agreement that will require the National Assembly’s ratification,” he explained.
Dr. Tangara also said that it is the government’s responsibility to discourage the youth from embarking on those dangerous journeys.
“We acknowledge the importance and how much remittance is coming to this country that is sent by migrants to support their families. However, this is not excuse to risk a journey that will cost one’s life,” he added.
“The government has been preoccupied again and again to repatriate our stranded Gambians from Libya, Nigeria and Morocco among others. It is not fair on the government that when it repatriates hundreds of Gambians who are stranded overseas and it is not recognised; when it re-admits our nationals who have exhausted their rights to stay in another country, it is blamed.”
Source: The Point