Germany to deport more Gambians on March 3

By Omar Bah

The German embassy in Dakar has announced Berlin’s intention to deport another batch of 25 Gambians on March 3rd.

Overall, Germany intends to deport at least 4,000 Gambians whose asylum claims were rejected. In the German region of Baden Württemberg alone, there are over 15,000 registered Gambian asylum seekers of whom, at least 4,000 have been rejected.

In a letter addressed to the EU Delegation in The Gambia and seen by The Standard, the mission stated: “The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany wishes to inform the esteemed delegation about the German authorities’ intention to operate a non-scheduled flight on 3 March 2021 to arrive at Banjul International Airport on 4 March 2021…

“With the non-scheduled charter, it is planned to repatriate upto 25 Gambian nationals to The Gambia. In application of the regulations set out in the ‘Good Practices’ and its ‘Operational Conclusions’ of February 2020, required information about the persons to be repatriated will be provided in due course.”

According to the embassy’s note, following the formal request of The Gambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the EU Delegation on 19th November 2020, the Embassy asks the delegation to announce the planned return operation to the Gambian authorities according to the stipulations set out in the “Operational Conclusion”.

“With this, the Embassy would be grateful if the delegation could request a diplomatic landing clearance for the non-scheduled flight that is going to be operated by the Government of Germany and to inform this mission about The Gambia Government’s consent to the return operation as well as the clearance number. Further to that, the Embassy wishes to underscore that preventive measures in relation to Covid-19, like medical examinations, temperature checks and the use of face masks, will be taken by German authorities prior and during the operation of the flight,” the note verbale concluded.

A plan by the German authorities to deport some Gambians was aborted a fortnight ago. No reasons were publicly given.