Gambian migrants in Mauritania, are facing tough times, as the Mauritanian police routinely arrest, detain and in some occasions dump them at the border between Mauritania and Senegal, Freedom Radio Gambia can reveal. The Gambian migrants are being rounded up due to alleged nonpayment of Mauritanian residential permit.
For a Gambian migrant to be allowed to work and stay in the Islamic nation, he or she, is required to pay D4,000 residential permit. Failure of which, migrants risked spending days, and months behind bars. They also risked being deported.
According to one Gambian migrant, who reached Freedom Radio Gambia via phone, corrupt Mauritania police officers are now resorting to chasing workers from their employment sites, and occasionally demanded bribes from them.
“ For one to secure residential permit in Mauritania is difficult. Corrupt officers will not issue one to migrants without been paid a bribe. Gambian migrants are being routinely arrested and dump in Mauritanian cells for no just reasons. I have walked to the police station on numerous occasions to apply for a residential permit, and the officer in charge said unless I give him D2,000 dalasi equivalent to the Mauritanian currency, he will not issue me one. There are good number of Gambian migrants detained in Mauritania,” he said.
“I am appealing to The Gambian government to please come to our aid. We are reaching out to your medium because you are our hope today. We all follow your news broadcast and reportage. Mauritanian police are now raiding peoples’ work sites. Gambians are usually dumped at the Mauritania/Senegalese border if arrested. We do not have serious representatives here, who would come to our aid. The Senegalese Ambassador recently sent his delegation to bailout some of his nationals languishing in Mauritanian cells. In our case, our representative is nowhere to be seen. We are suffering here in Mauritania,” said the concerned Gambian.
The Gambian Embassy in Mauritania could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.