Thursday, August 26, 2010

Switzerland harsh actions against African Immigrants and their misplaced blames!

By Essa Bokarr Sey

This past week, we all have been reading through stories related to The Gambian authorities refusing the flight from Switzerland that was carrying people being deported from the same country, landing rights! In my book that was accurate for the Banjul International Airport to do once again. A similar incident took place years in a different form. The whole situation matches the meaning of the following proverbs! “What is good for the goose is also good for the gander” Or the African one which says “Any person who prefers eating pepper-soup should also be ready to do so with a runny nose!”.

Let us start with the three "buts" of Switzerland when it comes to their past and present HARSH actions against African Immigrants and their misplaced blames!

1) Switzerland cannot stop African Immigrants from crossing their borders, as far as they have chosen to continue receiving and keeping stolen monies from African heads of state in their banks!

2) Switzerland should help Internal Non violent resistance groups inside our countries fight against capital flight from corrupt African leaders first!

3) Refusing Swiss flights that are carrying African deportees landing rights, is a good "tit-for-tat!" for selfish government like Switzerland itself!

By Essa Bokarr Sey.

This past week, we all have been reading through stories related to The Gambian authorities refusing the flight from Switzerland that was carrying people being deported from the same country, landing rights! In my book that was accurate for the Banjul International Airport to do once again. A similar incident took place years in a different form.

The whole situation matches the meaning of the following proverbs! “What is good for the goose is also good for the gander” Or the African one which says “Any person who prefers eating pepper-soup should also be ready to do so with a runny nose!”.

Let us run through a synopsis of past and present stories that are linked to Switzerland itself when it comes to them the Swiss entertaining the idea of receiving, keeping and helping conceal stolen monies from African leaders especially despots. To be candid Switzerland has so far helped ruin Africa economically. They really have because their country is where most of the monies our despots siphon are kept in bank accounts! Akk because this hypocritical term called “laws of secrecy” within the banking industry inside Switzerland itself! That has to stop my fellow Africans!

When Mobutu Seseseko was deposed all those of “us” who lived in Europe at the time still remember the shameful way an aerial view was showing us the properties he owned in Switzerland itself! Yes the archives are there to speak for themselves. We also remember the sad stories which were attached to the ill-gotten wealth from Nigeria’s former (deceased) dictator with an iron fist, in the name of Sanni Abacha. A greater part of his wealth was traced to Switzerland folks! That story is still not over! All Switzerland uses or refers to as cover in a simplistic way is “Bank secrecy laws!” That is the most ridiculous excuse one can ever see where helping to keep money that has been stolen from Africa by harmful and corrupt leaders is concerned. That is not good to say the least!

I am one person who is speaking from experience in this case. Of course my experience is coming from a higher echelon because I did meet and speak with some senior Swiss officials along these lines almost a decade ago! In the past the same Swiss went head on disregarding all plausible reasons therefore thought forcefully deporting some Gambians with cellulose tapes on their mouths and stiff hand cuffs on their wrists was the answer! They know what protest notes officials like myself and other young African diplomats sent to them along those lines at the material time. What happened when they did not BUGDE and wanted to continue using those INHUMANE ways of deporting our brothers and sisters back home? At some point Swiss personnel were detained in Banjul in retaliation(the archives are there to speak for themselves). We also remember when Malian immigrants who were forcefully deported to Bamako. Upon arrival they became unruly therefore went on the rampage. They broke one of the wings of the plane AIRFRANCE which took them home without even considering that some of them lost all their life savings in European banks! Well if the authorities in those EU countries do not need anything to do with these people they call “African intruders searching for greener pastures” why would they keep the little monies those “intruders” had worked for and kept European banks in the first place? Why would they also help keep monies which African despots steal from those poor immigrants and their families back home(tax payers) as well? The latter is not meant to justify illegal immigration but those EU Member states especially countries like Switzerland have to know that, by them simply trying to stop African immigrants from entering their borders in a unilateral and callous approach is unsavory and very unfair. These Swiss draconian immigration laws that are not taking into consideration the real CAUSES AND CURSES which are behind this “surge” from Africa especially the West coast towards Europe shall never bear sweet fruits for both ends! Those EU members states especially countries like Switzerland must sit down and look into the issue of immigration from a deeper and wider perspective. Their approach should be an all inclusive one and nothing less than that! They must attend ECOWAS meetings with a comprehensive and strategic package that will be based on FRANK TALK! They must address the issue by telling themselves the truth likewise tell those African leaders who steal then run to keep monies in Swiss banks the hard facts! Switzerland has to know that the new breed of African leaders who are emerging will definitely use all legal measures to make sure that any stolen monies from Africa is accounted for. Any properties or other products that have been taken away and kept in Swiss banks and the like will be followed and tracked where the need arises! These DOUBLE STANDARDS of receiving the money but rejecting the source of wealth(in this case our own sweat) has to stop forthwith.

Switzerland cannot stay indifferent in this case. Be it for the case of an asylum seeker or not we as Africans who want to see to it that WE NO LONGER cross the borders only to go and stay away in foreign lands are ready to stand up against this hypocrisy once and for all. Countries like Switzerland must share the blame with those corrupt African despots whose monies they help keep in their banks. INFACT LOANS FROM COUNTRIES LIKE SWITZERLAND MUST BE REVISITED WITH A MICROSCOPIC APPROACH. We as a new breed in Africa want to make sure that those loans are attached to the interest accrued from the monies that have been stolen by our corrupt and saved in Swiss banks over the years! Yes this may sound surreal but with time it can be achieved. In my book we do not owe countries like this anything within a moral point of view to start with! Switzerland’s case is not a separate one. Other EU member states have to get ready for stiff resistance from us Africans from now onwards. You cannot get the stolen money from despotic leaders only to “mildly” condemn “dictatorship” only to turn around giggling at us. Worst of continue using that stolen money within those banks as revolving funds which will never benefit the suffering masses in Africa(West to be more specific) in this case. NO! WE SAY NO TO THAT FROM TODAY! If you care about the welfare of the average African on the ground please join us and help STOP CAPITAL flight and money laundering. Likewise stop facilitating it or encouraging our corrupt leaders to buy properties in Europe when they kill and steal from us the suffering masses! If the Swiss and other EU member states do not stop doing so it means irony at the base or hypocrisy at the farthest! How long shall our people continue being treated like loaves of bread in an oven? We cannot continue feeling the heat while being baked to feed the hungry bellies of intercontinental greed! That cannot continue! It has to stop or be stopped!

Who does not remember former dictator Jean Bedel Bokasa of Central Africa? Who does not remember his chateau or castle in France? Who does not remember how he was disowned in that very country when his funds were depleted? If the EU can promulgate laws which can be used to help countries like Switzerland fight against immigrants, what is stopping the same EU from introducing stiffer laws against African despots who steal and keep their stolen wealth in their banking industry? Why are the very EU member states helping African despots teal and kill our people simply because they need the money? Why do they add insult to injury by forcefully deporting those very “victims” back to their countries even whereas some have genuine reasons to flee(within a political context)? I have lived in Europe officially and I know what I am exactly talking or writing about here!

The way the Swiss immigration(particularly) handles African immigrants is so inhumane and very wrong that is where one is to say the least. I have seen firsthand some of these things and my protest notes against the latter are on record! This idea of using any kind of force when deporting African immigrants cannot and should not continue unchallenged! The pictures with a Gambians’ mouth being gagged with cellulose tape in a plane from Geneva to Banjul are still there in the archives. Why treat those people like that after all? Why not use the same strength against the despots who steal and keep money in Swiss banks then? Or is this trying to get the MILK WHILE DISOWNING THE COW? That is hypocritical. No diplomacy needed in this case STRAIGHT-TALKING is the only answer here!

Hereunder is a story about Switzerland sponsoring an advert on African TVs trying to show how African immigrants suffer in Europe or to be more specific Switzerland itself! On the other hand I do concur with the ideas a Senegalese intellectual has expressed therein to help challenge the approach from the authorities in BERNE Switzerland and or other EU member states. He is right! The African Immigrant’s issue is far beyond the simplistic ways these Swiss are trying to portray in that advert! It is wider, deeper, worse and more challenging!

Please read below and see how Switzerland is being caution against its ways of sponsoring A BLEAK ANTI-IMMIGRATION TELEVISION CAMPAIGN IN AFRICA!

This is so “cheap” and hypocritical to say the least! See below and be your own judges!!!

(Source…swissinfo, Simon Bradley with agencies)

Advert aims to deter African immigrants

Switzerland is funding a bleak anti-migration television campaign in Africa to discourage would-be migrants from trying to seek their fortunes in Europe.

The hard-hitting advert, which has been aired on prime-time television in Cameroon and Nigeria, depicts the life of freshly arrived migrants in Europe as one fraught with problems and dangers.

In the film an African migrant phones his father from somewhere in Europe in the pouring rain and assures him that all is well while in reality he is living on the street, being chased by the police and having to beg for a living.

"Don't believe everything you hear. Leaving is not always living," is the final message of the film, which the SonntagsBlick newspaper said was broadcast on Nigerian state television at half-time during a friendly football match between Switzerland and Nigeria last week.

The advert is part of a television, radio and poster campaign by the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM), funded by Switzerland and the European Commission.

"We have the duty to show these people what the consequences of fleeing their country might be for them," Eduard Gnesa, head of the Federal Migration Office, told the SonntagsBlick.

"Refugees should not have any false illusions about Switzerland. We have no work for these people," he added.

In most cases immigrants from Cameroon and Nigeria can no longer claim they have been politically persecuted and therefore normally do not receive asylum status in Switzerland.

Not a paradise

IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said the aim of the campaign was to "inform would-be migrants of the dangers of using smuggling networks and the realities of life as an undocumented migrant in Europe".

The IOM has produced similar adverts in Senegal and Niger, funded by Spain and the European Union, Chauzy confirmed.

Swiss Justice Minister Christoph Blocher, whose ministry controls the Migration Office, said he supported the adverts.

"We must show Africans that Switzerland is not a paradise," he said.

Blocher's rightwing Swiss People's Party emerged as the biggest winner in the October parliamentary elections on the back of an anti-immigration campaign.

The short film is part of an awareness campaign that the Migration Office launched in early 2006 in Nigeria and Cameroon to dissuade economic migrants from trying their luck in Europe. It is considering a similar campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other African nations.

Too simplistic

But Pape Ndiaye Diouf, a professor at Geneva's Institute of Development Studies, felt the campaign gave a "too simplistic response to a very complex problem".

He said more rigorous and responsible solutions were needed to tackle the issue than simply saying: "Don't come as there's no work".

"It's important to correctly inform people in those countries about what the situation is like [in Europe] but it should go much further. It has to be accompanied with development and job creation opportunities on the spot so young people have alternatives and don't think they absolutely have to go abroad," he told swissinfo.

"The adverts are basically well intended," noted Jürg Krummenacher, director of Caritas Switzerland. "But people in Nigeria or Cameroon can constantly see on TV what it looks like in Europe. I don't think the advert offers very much."

So far this year only 105 people from Cameroon and 246 from Nigeria have requested asylum status in Switzerland.

"Hundreds of thousands of people from both countries dream about it but only a small number actually flee," he added.

swissinfo, Simon Bradley with agencies


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