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Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2023

Government Urges Gambians to Avoid Perilous Journeys as Migrant Deaths Surge

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad in a press release has expressed its condolences to the families of Gambian migrants who have tragically lost their lives while attempting to reach Europe. With a surge in irregular travel through the Mediterranean, the government urged its citizens to refrain from embarking on these dangerous journeys, as the number of deaths continues to rise.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad further called on all Gambians to prioritize their safety and well-being and emphasized that irregular migration not only poses a significant danger to individuals but also undermines the progress and development of The Gambia as.

The ministry said that they committed to creating an enabling environment that supports economic growth, job creation, and skills development within the country, by investing in education, vocational training, and entrepreneurship.

and communities to be aware of the dangers and risks associated with irregular migration. If you come across any boats carrying irregular migrants or have information regarding potential journeys, please inform the relevant authorities.

Together, we can work towards a safer and more prosperous future for all Gambians. Remember, your safety and well-being matter. Let’s prioritize building a better Gambia right here at home, where opportunities and possibilities abound.

Below is the full press release…..

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad conveys its sympathy and condolence to bereaved families of Gambian migrants who lost their lives en route to Europe through boats from early October 2023 to date. There has been a surge of Gambians travelling irregularly through the Mediterranean to Europe and consequently sustained deaths as a result of their boats capsizing or being lost at Sea for a number of days beyond the expected time of arrival, causing lack of food and water.

Death of Gambian migrants have been recorded in Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco and Tenerife in the Canary Islands at different times following rescue operations and interceptions at Sea or on shore since early October 2023. The Government regrets to acknowledge these deaths while extending sympathy and condolence to bereaved families across the country.

The Government wishes to inform everyone to desist from facilitating or embarking on such perilous journey that is costing the lives of our abled youth. The General Public is informed that the Senegalese, Mauritanian and Moroccan Coast Guards and Navy are patrolling their waters to intercept irregular migrant boats. 
Currently, 3 different boats have been intercepted and rescued by the Moroccan Royal Navy around Dakhla carrying on board 61, 46 and 26 Gambian migrants respectively. These brings the total number of Gambian migrants being  evacuated from Morocco to The Gambia at 133. 

For the past 3 weeks, almost every other day, the Senegalese Border Police have been intercepting Gambian migrant boats. On 12th November 2023, the Senegalese border Police informed and requested The Gambia High Commission in Dakar to facilitate the evacuation of 175 Gambian migrants, whose boats were intercepted and rescued at Sea.
In view of the above, everyone is requested to be vigilant and inform The Gambia Immigration Department and Gambia Navy about any boats seen carrying irregular migrants or any boat on the verge of embarking on such a perilous journey.  

Gambian Missions in Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, and Spain continue to work with the authorities in those countries with a view to getting the exact figure and details of fatalities.
The Government will continue its bilateral engagements in a bid to creating more regular pathways through labour and circular migration schemes and will invest more into skills and vocational training as career paths for our youth. 

The Government wishes to assure the General Public that, it will continue to do everything within its powers to cater for the welfare and well-being of Gambian migrants everywhere.

END

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