Monday, October 24, 2016

Sweden returns Jammeh's 'Baye Faal' to Spain : A lesson for the regime's collaborators

Exiled former Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko 
When the self-proclaimed "Baye Faal"of Yaya Jammeh (or Jammeh's disciple), Ousman Sonko, decided that he has had enough of the killings and torturing of innocent Gambians that he directed, and may have directly participated in some, he abandoned his post and fled to Senegal.

There, it was reported, the longest-serving Interior Minister spent several days debriefing Senegalese intelligence before he was allowed to proceed to Sweden via Spain - a travel itinerary that will later prove to be a fatal error in an otherwise carefully planned escape.

From Spain he traveled to Sweden where he sought asylum.  According to several reports, including Gainako online radio, the request for asylum by the former Interior Minister was refused consideration by the Swedish authorities by invoking an obscure European Union immigration protocol known as the Dublin Regulation that determines the EU Member responsible to examine asylum applications.

The law has undergone a series of amendments, the last of which was approved and came into force in June of 2013 but retained the essential principle that states that " the Member State of the EU where finger prints are stored or an asylum claim is lodged is responsible for a person's asylum claim."

According to knowledgeable sources, the application or request for asylum by the former Minister was never considered by the Swedish authorities.  Instead, they invoked the Dublin Regulation that gives them the power to return him to his first European port of entry - Spain.

In fact, the visa he entered Sweden was issued not by Sweden but by Spain where, presumably Mr. Sonko's fingerprint and personal details are stored.  The former Minister of the Interior in charge of the immigration portfolio and has collaborated with the E.U on immigration and related matter never bothered to learn about and obviously oblivious of the Dublin Regulation which is proving to be a costly omission.

The rationale for the law is that it attempts at preventing asylum shopping or "orbiting" by asylum seekers who previously would have hopped from one EU country to another in search of a country that would take them in. The law will now prevent Jammeh's "Baye Faal" from travelling to any other E.U Member State in search of an asylum heaven.

His application will now have to be considered by Spain should he decide to proceed with his initial plan to seek asylum.  If he decides otherwise, it goes without saying that his options will be restricted to countries outside the European Union.

The lesson to be learned by the experience of Ousman Sonko, the most powerful person in the A(F)PRC regime outside of Yaya Jammeh, is that sooner or later the law will catch up with you i.e. the close collaborators and the notoriously violent agents of one of Africa's reviled dictatorship who kill and torture defenseless Gambians.