Deported Gambian migrants arrive at the Banjul International Airport in 2017. Photo: Luc GNAGO (Reuters)

Germany to issue visa ban for countries including The Gambia that refuse to accept its deported citizens in proposed new immigration law to be enacted this year. 

The revelation was made by Gerald Knaus, chairman of the German based charity, European Stability Initiative, at a recent press conference in Banjul.

Mr. Knaus said the proposed law is aimed at punishing countries for failing to cooperate with Germany in taking back their deported citizens. 

“The new law at EU level is targeting countries that did not want to corporate with their EU policy; those countries will be punished with sanction of visa restrictions. The drafted law if implemented will be bad news for Gambians and the Gambia government,” he said.

He added that this proposed law was in response to the European migration crisis that has seen the rise in far-right political parties in Europe. 

Last year the Barrow government instituted a moratorium on the deportation of undocumented Gambians from Germany after a huge public outcry and demonstrations. The government complained to their German counterpart that the country needed more time to cope with the large returnees. 

It is estimated that between 2013 and 2017 about 40, 000 Gambians left the country for Europe through irregular migration locally known as ‘backway’ via Libya.  

According to Gerald Knaus of the German based charity, the Gambia government should reach out again to their German counterpart to find a solution for the undocumented Gambians in Germany before the new ‘tough’ immigration law is enacted. 

“The Gambia government should negotiate and say no more mass returns, let’s negotiate on this platform,” he said.

Mr. Knaus said the government should do more as the situations of undocumented Gambians in Germany are “dire and inhumane”. 

“So, in the coming weeks, your government officials and also Gambian civil societies should reach out to the German authorities to negotiate to the level where it matters most, so that to seek out and solve the problems.”   

A German base non-profit organization has revealed that The Gambia is among list of countries to be sanctions and restricted visa, if the government fails to corporate with the new EU immigration law to be enacted this year.

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