By Patience Loum, Banjul, The Gambia – Monday, August 24, 2020.
A spokesperson at Gambia’s Foreign Ministry condemned an act of vandalising the country’s consulate Beirut, Lebanon, asking why the protesters did not use lawful demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction and issues other than vandalism.
“We condemn, in no uncertain term, this willful damage to property. The property housing the Gambian consulate in Beirut is a private one. We urge all Gambians to exercise their right to protest through peaceful means,” Saikou Ceesay stated, Friday August 21, 2020 in Gambia.
Gambians stranded in Beirut, Lebanon last week stormed the Consul’s home and vandalized the consul’s compound in Beirut, accusing the government for ignoring them in ‘troubled’ Lebanon.
The protests came following the massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut on August 5, 2020, that left at more than 100 people dead.
About 45 women stranded in Lebanon have for several months been requesting government to repatriate them but in vain.
Most of them are victims of trafficking who have been working in Lebanon on contracts that have expired.
Reports of inhumane and ill treatment has been viral on social media.
Attempts were made by the Lebanese authorities to arrest the “vandals”, was later averted by Honory Consul who interceded on behalf of culprits.
Ceesay said plans to repatriate them is underway, almost in final advanced stages, adding that arresting them will cause delays in repatriation. He however did not state the date of repatriation.
Secretary General for Gambia Action Party (GAP), Musa Batchily asked the government to expedite the repatriation of Gambians stranded in the Middle East in the quickest time possible.
“We are deeply troubled by the Gambia government’s inaction in addressing the dire conditions of hundreds of Gambians stranded across several countries in the Middle East. GAP vehemently rejects the current stance of the government on our foreign policy,” he said.