By Kumba Leigh
Information reaching the Daily News has it that 41 Gambian migrants have been deported back to the country after they were caught trying to enter Morocco at the Algerian-Morocco border last month.
The Gambian migrants were apprehended alongside Senegalese, Malians, and Nigerians among other West African migrants in early July this year by the Algerian patrol team at the border while they are trying to enter Europe through morocco.
Speaking to the Daily News in Banjul, Ansumana Touray a returnee said they were caught by the Algerians who mercilessly beat them and guarder them (migrants) in the middle of the desert towards Niger.
“While we were working bare foots, we meet the UN peace keeping team who picked us and take us back to Niger in a camp where captured migrants are kept for deportation,” he narrated.
According to him, his condition was worst since he embark on this journey because he witnessed many a times where migrants die of hunger. ”My worry is if the government will give us the money said to be donated to us by the UN,” he asked.
He added that, they were meant to understand that the United Nation donated monies for the returnees D50, 000 or more so as to settle and engage themselves in to something better.
He explains that they came by busses from Niger to The Gambia on transits passing different West African countries to drop migrants in their various countries adding that, more other group of Gambians are held at the camp due for deportation.
“We have very bad Gambian agents in Algeria who are making their fellow Gambians suffer, we paid D12,000 to the Agent through their family in The Gambia with the assurance that they will take good care and escort us to our destination which is Morocco but it was all false as nothing was done as promised.
“Now we are also demanding our monies from those families after settling back home or else peace will not prevail,” he stressed.
Another returnee, Baboucarr Bojang said if The Gambia government can help them settle all these as fast as they could then they would try to engage themselves in to businesses because business .
He called on the government to help them to be able to receive these monies for them to better their lives.
“for those agents in The Gambia collecting monies from Gambians without fulfilling their promises should be prosecuted for human trafficking,” he adduced.
According to him, the trauma and hardship they face would have led to death as most of the migrants lost their lives and others felt sick which he said he was among those went through the hardship.
He added:”We went through Gambia immigration checkups prior to enter the Gambian border at Amdalai, Senegal Gambian border for an hour or more, so I believe the government is aware of our return because the UN team did communicate to the immigration regarding our deportation.”
Speaking to another migrant returnee Molamin Jawara a 40 year old man said he is a family man but due to the hardship and pressure on him, he took it as a need to wake up for the journey in search of greener pasture but unfortunately things did not went as expected.
“We really need help from the government to strongly put measures in eradicating what he calls illegal agents in the country who collect monies from Gambian youth promising them that they will enter Europe,” he noted.
He further called on the government to help the returnees to receives there money donated by UN for their own need, because if the returnees are engaged in to something meaningful, it is for the betterment of the government but if they are just home doing nothing it might lead to many un expected things.