Dida Halake

(JollofNews) – This is a highly emotive issue, not just for The Gambia but for Africa in general. The Diaspora Gambians/Africans feel strongly that African governments must not “collude” with Western governments to make it easier for the Western governments to deport Africans residing in the West. (Latin American countries take a similar stance with regard to US deportations).

African countries are between a rock and a hard place – so to speak. Diaspora Africans, who contribute massively to their home countries development through hard-earned financial remittances, overwhelming say NO to the idea of African governments agreeing to accept any of their citizens deported by the West. On the other hand, the economically powerful Western governments are pressurising African governments to say YES and accept African deportees. An example is a case in the High Court here in London last week where it was ruled that a Somalian has been “Lawful Jailed” for four years – while the British Government tries to get the Somali Government to accept him: he even landed at Mogadishu Airport with British Immigration escort only to be kept on the same plane and be sent back to London (and jail): Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWHC 550 (Admin) 24 March 2017 Between ISSE MURSAL BOTAN and SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT.

Gambia’s new government faces this dilemma acutely. Dictator Jammeh was happy to alienate the West (describing Western Aid as “chicken feed”!) and he deliberately politicised the issue and condemned the West for its treatment of African migrants. But Jammeh bankrupted The Gambia through massive theft and stole as much as he could before he was forced from power by West African military forces. The new government needs an emergency bail-out of the nation’s precarious finances – and also needs new funds for development projects, mostly urgently in the agricultural sector to feed the nation. Europe, UK and USA, all of whom hated Dictator Jammeh’s government are well disposed to the new government in The Gambia and have already started releasing much needed financial assistance. But there is a catch – a quid pro quo requirement.

Read the full article here.