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Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2023

Foreign Minister Says 169  Migrants Stranded In Niger 

Dr Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad speaking at the National Assembly yesterday 5th September 2023 disclosed that currently 169 Migrants are stranded in Niger awaiting Repatriation.

He highlighted that over 100 Migrants are currently in Libyan Immigration detention centers awaiting repatriation to the Gambia.

Minister Tangara quoted that “Many tragedies affecting Gambian migrants travelling irregularly has caused distress enormously, and one unfortunate situation was the boat carrying 39 migrants from Gunjur that went missing, and until today, for over a year, their whereabouts cannot be established”.

He added that as a government, they have developed a coherent policy in managing irregular migration as enshrined in the migration policy 2020 to 2030; and that consequently, it is the government’s responsibility to discourage the youth from embarking on such perilous journeys to Europe. 

However he highlighted that the government has not and will not arrange or facilitate the return of anyone without due process being followed. 

Minister Tangara further moved a motion on the withdrawal of the Consideration and Ratification of the Agreement on Cooperation in Migration Matters between the government of The Gambia and the Swiss Federal Council.

Justifying the reasons for his withdrawal, Hon. Tangara highlighted that the document is not an international agreement that would require the National Assembly’s ratification.

He further stated the good practice document is a standard operating procedure for managing the returns of Gambians who have exhausted their rights to stay within the European Union.

He quoted “It’s a readmission agreement or a memorandum of understanding on the modalities for return which was not signed by either parties, and it’s not an international agreement that will require the National Assembly’s ratification. It was agreed by both parties in 2018 as a memorandum of understanding, and its implementation started in 2019, with the development of operational conclusions on return modalities.” 

He said “However, the removal or return of any Gambia national from any European member state is exclusively the purview and authority of that country while under international customary law, The Gambia, as a country of origin for any of our nationals who have exhausted all their legal remedies to stay in that country, has the responsibility and obligation to react with them. 

The Gambia have been a beacon of hope and a good example of democracy; hence, for the partners, it’s our considered view that this should be the time to offer more support to the Gambia and not sanctions.”

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