Gambia holds public debate on the backway, the illegal migration
Scores of people mostly youths Thursday converged for a public debate on the illegal migration phenomenon into which hundreds of the country’s young population is being lured.The discussion held at the University of The Gambia Faculty of Law in Kanifing, was organised by Deutsche Welle (DW) from Germany in partnership with Paradise FM, a local private radio station in The Gambia on the theme: ”The Migration Dilemma.”
The forum availed participants the opportunity to share their opinions on the migration tragedies, its humanitarian and social impacts to African countries including The Gambia where thousands of the youthful population were said to have embarked on the treacherous journeys in attempts to reach Europe in search for better life.
Lamin Darboe, Executive Director, of The Gambia National Youth Council, said over thousands of youths in the country have the concept that going to Europe mean have have money and be successful in life. He believed this concept was the main factor forcing the youths to take on the ‘back way’ to Europe.
He further stated, that ”migration is an effect of systematic failure,” citing the lack of sustainable mechanism such as employment as a solution to the menace. He said ths may require the commitments of all stakeholders including government.
”Mass unemployment was the main factor forcing youths into the illegal migration”, Mbanyinck Njie, Permanenet Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sport disclosed while addressing the crowd. He said public resources must be put into use to create jobs for the citizenry. “You cannot take public resources as personal resources,” he added.
Njie further stated that raw materials produced by local farmers in the country are being exported with the farmers earning less from the produce. He said these produce are often processed and sent to back to the country for sale at higher prices.
He argued, that if the manufacturing are done within the country their be jobs for the people. He mentioned the Gambia groundnut milling factory in Banjul which currently functional as such.
A young man named Allex Obiada who went through the back way, explained the terrible condition confronting migrants in the desert before reaching Libya. He said armed criminals do kidnap migrants and seize their moneys.”If you try to insist they just shoot you to death,” he explained. The meeting went emotional with his revelations when he said the criminals sometimes use cutting tools and cut through their anuses to extract the money as that was the way some migrants could hide their money from them.
The Gambia being one of Africa’s smalles nations, with a population of less than two million, is said to be among the top five countries whose nationalities embarking on the illegal route to Europe through the Mediterranean sea.
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 12,ooo Gambians embarked on the journey in 2016 alone.