Gambia – Lured Into return By Yahya Jammeh, Black Africans Dazed With Rejection Of Draft Constitution

Published: 12/Oct/2020
Source: The Chronicle (Banjul)

In 2010, Yahya Jammeh made a spectacular pronunciation offering citizenship to all Black African descents in the Diaspora willing to resettle in The Gambia. Hundreds of returnees have since stayed in the Gambia though Jammeh’s pronunciation got never backed legally. With the rejection of the draft constitution last month, the dreams of these Black African returnees to be Gambians have now vanished.

When in 2010 former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh offered citizenship to all Black African descendants willing to resettle in the country, dozens arrived in The Gambia to fulfill the dream of a “Return to ancestral roots”. But obtaining citizenship and resettlement in The Gambia quickly proved to be a station of the cross for this small community in the making.

In 2010, we were lucky to acquire ten citizenship for Home-comers during the Roots Home-coming Festival from the previous administration. However, we realized that legally this type of pronouncement is not sustainable any longer” says Shakina Chinedu, a returnee living in The Gambia for 15 years, now resident of Brusubi.

Though the number of African home-comers kept growing since 2010, obtaining citizenship and resettlement into the local Gambian communities by these Black African descents became quasi impossible. They consequently formed a pressure group called Africa Diaspora Returnees Association (ADRA), to help in obtaining legal documents for its members, with little headways made so far.

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Themes: Naturalisation and Marriage
Regions: Gambia
Year: 2020