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No money to repatriate body of Gambian migrant who died of heart attack

The family of Salifu Camara has said that they do not have the substantial amount of money that would be required to send his remains back to his native Gambia for a decent burial.

The young Gambian migrant, who was living in Germany, died suddenly after collapsing on a journey to Italy on 4 June 2018. According to family members, Salifu Camara of Brikama town in western Gambia, was heading back to Italy – his point of entry into Europe three years prior – to normalise his immigration status, when the tragic incident took place. According to European Union (EU) laws, migrants like Mr Camara must seek asylum in the EU country where they first arrived.

In an interview, Lamin Sanyang, who claims to be a close relative of the deceased, said Italian police reported that he died of a heart attack.

Mr Camara’s family members are asking members of the public to support his repatriation with donations through the online crowdfunding platform, Gofundme.

The Gambian Daily Standard newspaper reported in 2017 that more than 60,000 Gambians have crossed into Europe since 2008 with the majority living in Italy.

In a separate incident, the Gambian government has been in discussions with its embassies in Spain and Morocco regarding the repatriation of the remains of two Gambians who died crossing the Mediterranean oft the coast of Morocco.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Communications Secretary Saihou Ceesay was quoted as telling the newspaper Foroyaa, “There are no funds for such eventualities. This clarification is necessary because some families are with the notion that the Foreign Ministry and Embassies, should foot the bill for such responsibilities.”

TMP – 11/07/2018

Photo caption: Salifu Camara who passed away on 4 June 2018