(JollofNews) – Nearly 70 Senegalese nationals expelled from the Gambia into Senegal’s Casamance region on Sunday were children, a spokesman for the country’s Immigration Department has confirmed.
Assistant Superintendent Mamanding S. Dibba, said the Senegalese aged between 11 and 16 years old were picked up on Friday night during a raid.
He said the children numbering 69 were found living in the Streets of the capital, Banjul, without parents/guardians or documents authorising their stay in the country.
He added that the children were screened by the security forces before they were booted out of the country.
The spokesman said 71 other foreign nationals who were picked up during the raid are being questioned by the authorities.
The expulsion of the Senegalese kids comes only three days after a meeting held by the interior ministers of the two states in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
Last Wednesday, Gambian Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty was in talks with his Senegalese counterpart Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo in a bid to work out a joint strategy to tackle cross-border crime, including drug trafficking and potential terror threats.
Gambia’s immigration director, Buba Sanyang, ordered the expulsions without allowing those detained to appeal, BBC Afrique reported.
It quotes a Gambian government source as saying that the expulsions are not a reflection of President Barrow’s immigration policy.
According to the source, no officials from the justice and interior ministries were consulted over the expulsions.