Sunday, August 14, 2022

People of African Descent Demand Automatic Citizenship


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By Nelson Manneh

Descendants of Africans, whose ancestors were forcefully captured and taken away from the continent, have demanded that the new Constitution should make provision for them to acquire citizenship in the country. This was disclosed by some of these descendants in a press conference held on Sunday, December 15th, 2019.

The descendants of these captives said their grandparents were taken and enslaved by Europeans 400 years ago; that they want to return to Africa because it is here they belong.
Madam Juliet said it was not their choice as descendants of these captives to stay in Europe or America; that their grandparents were forcefully taken against their will and sold during the slave trade; that their masters have never recognized them as being part of them.

“This is why we want to come to Africa. It is here that we belong,” she said; that by looking at their skins, one knows that they belong to Africa.

‘‘My parents told me that my great grandparents are from The Gambia and I want to come back home,” she said.

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Juliet said they are not pleased with the way the issue of citizenship has been explained in the new draft Constitution.

“We have engaged Government and other stakeholders by demanding for automatic citizenship in the Country, but we are yet to be recognized,” she said.

Juliet said in Europe, they called them aliens meaning that they come from nowhere. She called on the Government and the CRC to give them automatic citizenship and accommodate them in the country.

“We are Africans. We want to come home and settle with our families,” she said.
Thomas Moses said the following: “Some of us were told that our great grandparents came from the Gambia and we decided to come back home, but the environment does not welcome us.”

Mr. Moses said it is very sad that they are confronted with racism in Europe and now they want to come back home, but yet they are not welcomed.

“We have written a petition to the CRC demanding for what belongs to us. We are from the Gambia and we want to come back, invest and stay permanently,” he said.

It is a historical fact that Europeans came to Africa and took away Africans and forced them to work on their plantations in America and the West Indies. After the abolition of the slave trade, some of the captives were repatriated while several stayed in those countries.

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