Thousands of Gambians Fleeing the Country

Passengers waiting for the ferry at the Banjul terminal

By Aja Musu Bah Daffeh
On Friday 13th January, 2017 the Banjul ferry terminal was congested with people including women and children fleeing the country to Senegal which started since outgoing President Jammeh’s pronouncement declaring the election result null and void and calling for fresh election.


This brought fear and trauma in the minds of Gambians which led them to flee the country without hesitating, thinking that his refusal to step down will result to conflict in the country.

According to the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), several thousand Gambians have crossed to Senegal in the last 10 days to escape growing tension over the results of the last presidential election.

UNHCR team reports seeing buses filled with children accompanied by women cross the border. The report says Senegalese authorities, with the support of UNHCR, are working to strengthen registration systems which will help clarify figures, noting that most arrivals in Senegal are Gambians and Senegalese who have been working or living in The Gambia.

Mr. Musa Secka a native of Banjul said the current political situation in the country makes people to move out of the country because they are terrified by seeing soldiers all over the place holding guns which is never a culture in the smiling coast of The Gambia.

He asserted that some witnessed and experienced the deadly war in Freetown and Liberia, therefore they would not want to witness another which is why they are running for their lives. “This doesn’t tell well and it’s not a good sign for people fleeing their own country” said Mr. Secka.

Ousainou Bojang a resident of Sukuta, who was helping his mother at the terminal to cross to Senegal, said all these problems lie in the hands of the current government noting that there is solution to every problem without putting fear in people.

He added that Gambians are controlled by the fear syndrome that staying back will only do harm to their lives, “some are with notion that there will be Military Intervention and international bodies will invade the country with powerful ammunition”.