Wednesday, September 27

Migration Activist Says Gov’t Given Millions For Deportees But…

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

By: Nyima Sillah

Migration and Human Rights Activist Yaya Sonko has raised queries about the multi-million euro reintegration package that, he said, was given to the Gambia government by the EU.

The Baden-Württemberg-based activist questioned the whereabouts of the money, which he alleged, was received by the government to support the reintegration of Gambian deportees.

Sonko was reacting to comments made by Dr. Mamadou Tangara as the foreign minister recently addressed a press conference on migration and related issues.  

According to Mr. Sonko, the Gambia government continues to downplay the significance of deportees’ reintegration.

“H.E Tangara should have used the press conference to inform Gambians… what are there in The Gambia for the deportees and what kind of sustainable reintegration support his Government plans for hundreds of Gambians they deported from Europe,” he stated. 

 “Hundreds of deportees reunited with their families with zero hopes, offers, or support from the very government that deported them. The question I always ask is: “Where are the millions of euros the Barrow Government received from the European Union for the reintegration of deportees?”

Sonko said the Government has forgotten that accepting mass deportation goes with taking full responsibility for deportees. He explained that the Government accepted to take back hundreds of youths from Europe but that the deportees’ last point of contact with it is usually at the airport.

 “Tangara talked about his ministry’s efforts to help facilitate the return of hundreds of Gambian migrants from sub-Saharan African countries and Asia but never mentioned the hundreds of Gambian migrants his Ministry cooperated with the European Union to deport,” Sonko contended.

On the foreign minister’s comment on the temporary residence permit for Gambians in Germany, Sonkosaid: “The law they are talking about is called the new Chancen-Aufenthaltsrecht (Opportunity Residence Act) stipulated in §104c Residence Act. I would say it would be no use for the Gambia government to send a delegation to Germany to negotiate this new law.”

He disclosed that stakeholders, NGOs, and Gambian associations in Germany are working “very hard” to sensitize Gambian migrants as to how they can obtain their residence permit through this opportunity. The German Government, he said, wouldn’t listen to the Barrow government about this law.

According to him, Germany would welcome the Gambia Government delegation for possible talks but that any engagement must be based on continuity of discussion and plans of cooperation they started a few years ago.

“As far as I know, the government of Germany wouldn’t entertain any new discussions from the Gambia,” Sonko argued.

He stated that Tangara’s last press conference was another missed opportunity for Gambian migrants in Europe and their families back home to be properly informed.

According to, depending on your purpose and the length of your planned stay in Germany, there are different types of German residence permits.

However, moving to Germany is an exciting adventure. It’s a place full of diverse people, and the opportunities are endless. Also if your only goal is to visit Germany for touristic purposes, you don’t have to fret about a residence permit. A tourist visa allows you to stay in Germany for about 90 days and explore the country and all it has to offer. Staying beyond the permitted 90 days is not possible though without a residence permit.

A German residence permit allows you to stay in Germany for a more extended period than only 90 days. During that time, you can study, work, or engage in other activities in the country.

Note: The story was first published onAugust 4, 2023,