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13.12.2005 General News

18 Ghanaians Deported From Spain

By PeaceFM
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The Spanish government has deported the first batch of Ghanaian immigrants, who have been staying in that country without legal documents. All 18 men were between the ages of 22 and 35 years, some of whom have acquired skills in diverse areas. According to Mohammed Iliasu, who spoke to PeaceFM on behalf of the group, he said the Spanish authorities asked them to join a flight to Madrid where they would be offered jobs. He said upon suspicion, they inquired from the authorities where exactly they were being taken to, then they broke the news to them that they were being sent home. Mohammed said upon arrival at the Kotoka International Airport, the Spanish authorities gave each one of them ¢50,000 to take transport back to their various destinations. He said frustrations set upon them as they stood at the Airport from 5pm late last night, without any official from the Interior Ministry attending to them.

Meanwhile the government has denied allegations by some Ghanaian immigrants in Spain to the effect that the Ghana government has entered into an agreement with the Spanish Government to deport Ghanaians from that country. The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Akwesi Osei Agyei explained to PeaceFM that the Spanish Foreign Minister on an official visit to Ghana announced that his country had taken a decision to grant amnesty to some illegal immigrants to enable them have gainful jobs and change their status within 5 years. He said some 5,000 Ghanaian illegal immigrants benefited from the programme.

He said the Spanish government also announced that after the programme, all illegal immigrants were to be departed to their native countries. However some Ghanaian immigrants in Spain phoned PeaceFM and reported of the Spanish government's decision to deport them and alleged that the Spanish authorities say their decision was based on a request put through by the Ghanaian government to repatriate Ghanaians living there. Mr. Osei Agyei has however denied knowledge of the allegation and said his ministry would make a formal complaint through the Spanish Embassy in Accra.

By: Jerry Tsatro Mordy

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