Nyima Jadama is a refugee rights activist in Germany. She is the co-founder of the organisation, No Deportation to The Gambia. In this interview with What’s On-Gambia, Nyima tells us more about Germany’s plan to deport Gambian refugees who lost their bid for asylum.
What’s On-Gambia: Why did you establish No Deportation to The Gambia?
Nyima: (Laughs) I am an activist and a radio journalist working on a project for refugees and asylum seekers and I guess that was what motivated me and my colleagues to establish No Deportation to The Gambia. We organised the recent demonstration in Stuttgart.
The demonstration in Stuttgart was organised after the German president’s announcement during his recent Gambia visit that 1500 Gambian refugees who lost their bid to remain in Germany are awaiting deportation. We wanted the authorities to hear our concerns and maybe that could encourage them to reconsider their decision. We also wanted the German government to provide equal opportunities to our brothers like any other asylum seekers and that is providing jobs and better living conditions.
Do you know how many people turned out in Stuttgart to attend your demonstration?
Roughly 200 plus, some were unable to locate the place.
Did the Gambian government sign an agreement with Germany for the deportation of Gambian refugees whose asylum applications were rejected?
I have no idea about that.
Did you try to find out?
Nothing concrete! As you might have read online both governments have denied signing any agreement.
Are you in regular contact with Gambian migrants in Germany?
What are their thoughts on the alleged agreement?
Well, some of them are convinced that an agreement was signed and The Gambia government is prepared to receive them. There is fear and frustration among them because not very long ago, 29 Gambian asylum seekers were deported.
What do you think would be the German government's next move?
To deport all Gambian refugees and failed asylum seekers if an agreement is signed.
So there is no agreement?
I don’t know about that.
What's your message to the Gambian migrants in Germany?
Let them find jobs and stay away from illegal activities. Let them try and integrate into the German society and take their asylum applications seriously.
What do you mean by taking their asylum applications seriously?
Because some of them usually mess up before the final decision.
By involving into drug cases.
Are Gambian migrants involved in drug peddling?
A lot of them!
How and why do they get involved?
As a general rule, asylum seekers are not allowed to work in Germany. They only receive a monthly allowance of fewer than 400 Euros and for some of them, that’s not enough to take care of themselves and their families back home. There is also a handful of them who are not receiving any monthly allowance and I think they might be the ones who are mainly involved in drug peddling to survive.
What’s your message to the Gambian government?
My message to Barrow’s government is that they should not rush into any agreement with the Germans.