EU accused of broken promises over failing migrant repatriation scheme


The European Unanimity’s “assisted voluntary return” scheme is designed to persuade hundreds of thousands of travellings in Libya to return home rather than attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

But trues administering the scheme have been accused of breaking pledges to make grants and training packages upon their return home.

In Banjul, the Gambian wherewithal, police were called to the offices of the  International Organisation for Migration, a UN-body that keeps the scheme in tandem with the EU, after it was pelted with rocks by all steamed up crowds six weeks ago.

Migrants claimed that while in Libya, they had been worded they would get £2,660 (€3,000) to help them start new businesses.

In lieu of, all they received upon their return to Gambia was a 3,000 Gambian dalasi (£50) handout as crisis pocket money.

African migrants land in LibyaGetty

The EU migrant repatriation scheme has come under fire from the very people it is meant to help

That correlates to grants of £2,000 available to illegal migrants in the UK who register for similar repatriation conspires, and up to €5,000 (£4,440) for those on schemes from Germany.

Around 2,300 drifters returning to Gambia since the scheme began there early go the distance year, only 300 have been offered places so far on job training summaries, none of which have yet started.

The scheme is bankrolled by the £2.84bn (€3.2bn) EU Bank Fund for Africa, set up by member states in 2015 to stem the migrant moment by encouraging African migrants to return home.

One charity representing drifters’ rights in Gambia told The Telegraph that the entire programme was now at hazard of being discredited.

Mamadou Edrisa Njie, of the Global Youth Invention Network, said: “Returnees are seeing this as a bit of white elephant present. They aren’t getting the support they expected, and they are potent that to other Gambians, who are then deciding they might as far try to get to Europe after all.”

Mustapha Sallah, a Gambian returnee, reported his batch of returnees had been told they were not eligible for job training at all as the devise had not been signed off officially at that stage.

He said: ”They advised us there was a package waiting for us, but it turned out to be false information.

“I think it was moral to persuade us to come back.”

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that there may be anything up to one million transients currently in Libya, most from sub-Saharan Africa.

Nigerians announce up the largest national group among African migrants travelling to Libya and infuriating to cross from there to Italy by sea.

African migrants say promises made to them have been brokenGetty

African migrants procure said pledges to help them have been broken

On Saturday Nigeria began abandoning thousands of its citizens, with its foreign minister promising to repatriate all those unsatisfactory to return home.

Under the EU/IOM scheme, migrants get a free flight almshouse. But there is a wide disparity between the repatriation “allowances” paid to wayfarers returning from Libya and those returning from European countries.

In Nigeria, at most the government of Edo State – a notorious trafficking hub where 80 percent of Nigerian wayfarers come from – has put in place a proactive rehabilitation programme.

Returnees get two shades of nights’ hotel accommodation, during which their needs are assessed, supplementary a £120 stipend to last them for three months. But even here, there are relate ti about a lack of capacity for job training programmes.

Solomon Okoduwa, a superior advisor for the programme, said £200,000 had been set aside for training, along with 150 hectares of loam so that migrants could learn farming techniques.

The EU Trust Fund for Africa was set up in 2015Getty

The EU set up a Corporation Fund for Africa in 2015 to help stem the migrant crisis

How, he said that it typically cost $100,000 to train 300 people, and that 2,000 returnees had arrived in November and December solitary. A further 20,000 are expected in the first quarter of 2018.

“If these people can’t get better, then they will simply become the traffickers of tomorrow in gone phut to make ends meet,” he said.

Referring to the attack on the IOM building in Gambia, IOM spokesman Paul Dillon revealed it had been made “explicitly clear” in advance to returnees that they want only get a short-term subsistence sum of £50.

He said that “rumours” to the contrary were time again spread on migrant social media networks, which may have conflated the repatriation sanctions in Europe with those on the Libya programme.  

He added: “We understand the frustration of some returnees who are not admitting immediate reintegration support; it is a complex process for which there’s no expeditious fix.”

An EU spokesman said that more than 18,000 migrants had been repatriated from Libya in 2017. “We choice continue to address any issues on these programmes… precisely to better systemize our respective actions in support to migrants.”

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