The U.S. is yet to lift a visa ban on Gambian officials, whose former government refused to accept citizens deported to the West African nation.
The Obama administration, which was in a war of words with the Jammeh government put the restriction in place, forcing the Gambia to allow the deportation of 11 citizens, who were convicted of a felony and had served their time.
““The ban has not been lifted yet but we are working hard with the Ambassador to make sure it is lifted,” Mr. Njogou Saer Bah, Permanent Secretary and Head of The Diplomatic Service at Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Gambian journalist Lamin Sanyang.
The U.S. has a new government, which is cracking down on illegal immigrants and the Gambia has a new government, which says it will protect citizens that have not broken immigration laws but will accept deportees that have violated the laws of host nations.
“For the Gambians who have committed crimes in foreign countries [in prisons or have served their terms] and are supposed to be returning home, it is the judicial process that will be sending them home and not the Gambia government,” Gambia’s Homeland Security Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty said in March.
Jammeh’s government, accused of human rights violations refused to accept nearly 2,000 people the U.S. is trying to deport, forcing the Obama administration to pull the trigger and refuse to grant visas to some Gambians hoping to visit the U.S.
Jammeh was defeated in the polls last year and new president, Adama Barrow’s administration is repairing broken diplomatic relations that were made sour by Jammeh’s eccentric decisions.