- Close to 50 Gambian economic migrant youths have been sent home by Spanish authorities.
Escorted by Spanish security agents, the migrants most of who sailed through Spain through the sea, were flown to the capital Banjul, Gambian police confirmed. The perilous affair had become a journey of no return for many would-be migrants who drowned at sea.
The signing of a cooperation between some countries in West Africa and Spain on illegal immigration in 2006 had led to deportations of migrants.
Gambian migrants have been targeted in other European that have purportedly concluded deals with Gambian authorities. In this regard, over 30 Gambians were recently deported from Austria.
The latest deportation followed a similar pattern in October last year, when a group of 140 illegal Gambians who were deported from Spain empty-handed and started causing chaotic scenes at the Banjul International Airport.
The returned migrants were forced to disembark from the two aircrafts that carried them home.
Some of them went berserk, vandalising glasses at the airport, smashing and destroying air-conditioners and wind-screens of vehicles parked at the old terminal building. Others even attempted to commit suicide by knocking their heads against the wall.
The disgruntled deportees blamed Spanish authorities for conspiring with their Gambian counterparts to send them packing, which they held, was a breach of agreement they had with Spanish government. "We were not told the reality because Spanish officials said they were transferring us from a refugee camp to Madrid and Amsterdam," one disgruntled deportee said.
But Gambian officials who were at the airport to receive the migrants exonerated the government from blame.
"The government was only helping their return after the Spanish authorities demanded that they leave," said Fatou Jassey-Kuyateh from the Office of the President, appealing to all would-be travelers to make good use of legal means to get to Europe and avoid illegal ways.
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