The Gambia Refugee Association Branch Europe Secretary  David Jarssey, at Wearebornree! Empowerment Radio, a weekend radio program titled “The Voice of the People” talk-show has said that their association is recognised by both the German government and the Gambia government, and also by the NGOs in both countries, like IMO, and both German refugee councils.

The Secretary has gone on saying that, as far as the cooperative ngos are pro asyl in Germany, they are informed by any new information, updates and changes in advantages and disadvantages on refugees. He said they also do vise-versa, which means by also communicating to them about things that they also need, like which information helps refugees, and where refugees can get opportunities.

Talking about the Association stance in the Gambia, Mr Jarssey has said that, as far as the Gambia is their country they write directly to the Gambia government.. They write to the president directly, and give them calls to the ministry of interior and foreign affairs.

But has said that to the president they write to him normally. He said they also  write to the parliament, to solve their preferences and to show their disappointments.  To also  ask what they can do in order to supplement the effort of the association. 

According to David, they (Association)  want the Gambian undocumented migrants to be satisfied here in Europe, as far as they came to europe from the Gambia with a big aim, so they have to look at that and encourage them to stay still on that protection of their aims, things like that they try to communicate. and “Thank god most of the parliamentarians understand our pride” says David.

Talking about some of the successful responses from the Gambia government, based on their direct communications with them, David Jarssey went on saying that, “you will realise that the Gambian government is a government which is always looking for corporations with the western governments, in terms of economy, this is absolutely fine, we are not trying to say that shouldn’t be done, cooperation is very important between a country to country, but every cooperation also have to do with the interest of the people, you have to look at the interest of the people and the capacity within you are, these are very important, so there you can be able to look at the interest of every stakeholder within the cooperation, the German side and also the Gambian side”.

 Mr Jarssey, furthermore went on saying that when they communicate to the Gambia government, normally they hardly answer, then they push, they don’t just write letters and then stop, they follow up with calls and  writing more letters, even though they don’t normally response, but at some point they do.

David went on reminding people about the moratanium, which was implemented in 2019, it was a force that they took and the government really realised. He said because when they wrote to the president, and they wrote to the parliamentarians and they refused to answer to the stop of the deportation, then they went on demonstration, even though the demonstration had some shortcoming, but they had some impact. So it was implemented, and the time was given to the boys, refugees to really reflect on how they are doing and to do it better, which took almost a year of halt, and then they started again. 

Talking about the german side of the deportation agreement, Mr David Jarssey has said that the EU or Germany is always interested in deporting migrants, doesn’t matter either being a Gambian migrant or any other country migrant. He said what they normally do is to convinced them that a deportation is a necessary and it is in the International law, according to Jarssey, they have been trying to find that in the international law, and has said that he is not saying that is not existing, but it is always too big, the international law, “But which one exactly”? Has asked a question, so they tried to convince them. Still emphasizing on the German side, “they try to convince us that it is a necessity, that it’s something that the Gambia Government must accept, but we said it could be a necessity, but then we need time. Yeah because things have been too hard for us, you know from the journey, and to the receiving end here, has been too hard”, says David Jarssey.

Responding to the question of the discussion with the German government bringing impact on the deportation of the Gambians, Mr Jarssey, said “No the German Government is even ready, we all know that we are in lockdown, quite lot of rules have been implemented to make sure that people are not being touch and affect one another, because of the Covid-19. But just last Saturday, 36 Nigerian were deported back to Nigeria”.

Mr Jarssey went on asking a question “But within that 36, are you telling me that nobody is not a Covid positive?”. According to David, they are saying that people should be given time. Because of the things they also realised is that the receiving governments are not looking into the health situation of the deportees. David went on giving some of the examples the deportation has impacted in our societies, based on the mental health of the deportees. ” Because if you could remember in 2019, a deportee from Germany to the Gambia, left here and was taken to the mental health clinic in the Gambia, just within a minute he killed 2 people”, also added “just last month another deportee from Germany here killed his father in a town called Brikama”. On those occasions, David said if the Gambia is really ready to receive its own people, they first have to look into the health history of the deported, mentally, and physically, which should be based on human protection.

Talking about the recent deportation cancellation, Mr Jarssey, have quoted a statement by the assistant spokesPerson to the ministry of foreign affairs office in the Gambia by name Saikou Ceesay, after asked by the Point Newspaper in the Gambia, that he responded “The reason of cancelling yesterdays’ deportation of 14 Gambian detained in Germany was because of the ongoing engagement The Gambia government is having with its European partners. So this was possible due to the current surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. That is to say yesterday’s deportation was cancelled due to the insurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.” 

Responding to the so many political talks and rumours happening in and outside the Gambia about deportation issues, Mr David, said in the Gambia right now we have so much politics in everything we do and say, saying that they don’t consider anything or anyone outside their political parties values. He said that their Association is not into any Gambia political party stuff. And has said that they are not saying that their members should not be in any political party. “Every Gambian has a right to be in any political party, or have sympathy for a political party, in love for a party for whatever reason he has been there for”, says David.

Talking about their Association Constitution, Mr David said, it doesn’t matter from which party you are  affiliated with, but what matters is what you are doing for the Association.

Speaking about the Associations PRO, Yahya Sonko,based in Stuttgart. ” Not even our PRO, he will not just get up and give information on his own”. David went on saying that their PRO,  has no right in their constitution and he never did it, to just get up and give an information or a program without informing them, he always has to inform them about the type of program and they all give their contributions. “Just these days we received a call from party politics, I call them fanatics , it’s very sad, Gambians should always consider politics during the political periods, and when that one is over, let us all combine the efforts, and work towards the common good of the Gambia. if we fail to do this then it means we are going to be blinded by the things that the country needs and we focused of being fanatics and the problem with fanatics is that no matter the good information I might have given you, you will not see that because you are already blinded by what you believe in just within your parties, not the Gambian government” says David.

According to David, people were calling their PRO, as a UDP supporter which means to deviate their effort as an association into the Gambian party politics, and they are not looking into tribes, ethnics, religion, but looking at the interest of the Gambian people. “let them go ahead, and they will keep doing what they are doing, in the interest of the Gambians”. Says David.

Muhammed Lamin Jadama, a member of Wearebornfree! Empowerment Radio, has gave his contribution through telephone called at (The Voice of the People) talk-show, concerning the issues of deportation rumours and information about Gambians from Yahya Sonko the PRO of the Association, ” today the biggest problem we have in our country is the politicians bad leadership, Gambia 50 years after independence are lack of basic education, infrastructures and so on, that means we are lack of good leadership, that’s the problem we are having”. Specifically to the point of Yahya Sonko, Jadama, shows his dissatisfaction about him as an activist and the PRO of the independent body, that is representing everybody, regardless of your political affiliation or what. “personally I have some doubts about him, in a sense that I am not trying to accuse him, but we the activists have a very sensitive and a crucial role to play in terms of awareness, sensitization and convincing people, but at the same time if  we should happen to rally behind a special political party, the same time trying to convince people about the issues of the government, can be said that we are supporting a special political party” says Muhammed.

 Muhammed went on saying that, the situation of the Gambia is more than any political party at this moment, so if we are talking, we should get politics out of our advocacy, awareness and information , we should be focusing on the future of the Gambia, honestly, sincerely and for the future of the Gambians.

Furthermore, Jadama went on saying that we as activists have to be neutral, to talk to the people about something that will be in the interest of the general nation and the people. “Yahya from an activist point of view, I will say he is doing great, but he is rallying behind the UDP party” says Jadama. In which he said our number one problem in  the gambia now a days is these political party affiliation, 

Giving his final conclusion, at (The Voice of the People) talk-show, David Jarssey, the Secretary of the Gambia Refugee Association Branch Europe, has given these advice to the youths, ” one thing I will recommend the boys to do, which is very very vital, let them be involved politically, they need to be recognized among others, youths to join activism, learn language, unism, activism and be politically involved.” Jarssey concluded.