100s Trapped In Kuwait… 50 Set For Deportation

 

The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence and this is evidenced by people smugglers to the Middle East, who have over the years lured unsuspecting people, especially young women, into believing that they would find lucrative jobs for them so that they would live a standard life.

According to report, about fifty (50) young Sierra Leoneans in Kuwait – majority of them are female – now await deportation despite the lofty promises the people smugglers made to them.

Quite recently, a video circulated on social media showing a group of young dejected, desperate Sierra Leonean women detained at a deportation center in Kuwait appealing to the Government and people of Kuwait and Sierra Leone to consider their predicament and help them return home.

One of their spokespersons in standard English appealed to the Government of Kuwait: “Salamalaykum to the Government of Kuwait. We are here your children at the shelter. We are crying for help. We are your Muslim sisters. We are here suffering. Please Government of Kuwait, help us. We are suffering. We came here to find our survival. We are suffering. Please help us. We are from Africa. We are from Sierra Leone. Please Government of Kuwait, come to our help. Allah help us,” as she burst into tears.

Another young woman speaking in Mende praised the Sierra Leone Embassy in Kuwait for doing good work on their behalf. She however lamented that they still remain forlorn and hopeless. “We came here to find our living. Some of us have been in this shelter four months,” she narrated with sadness in her voice. “Every day we are promised that the next day we will return home, but it does not materialize. We have nothing, please help us return to our country, we do not want to die here,” she moaned.

Another young woman, who appealed to her compatriots in Themne, said, “Maamu, please help us, things are hard with us. We are sick, we have no treatment, all what we get is Panadol. We are begging President Bio, Fatima Bio, please come to our aid.”

The Exclusive however gathered that the Immigration Department in Kuwait will in the next two weeks commence the deportation process of the 50 stranded young Sierra Leonean women.

The Sierra Leone Ambassador to Kuwait, Madam Ishata Thomas, who disclosed the aforesaid report during a familiarization visit to the Management of the Shawikh al Jleed Deportation Center, said her visit was part of series of consultative visits to discuss issues affecting Sierra Leoneans in Kuwait, and for her to get firsthand status report on the Deportation Centers and how best to the Embassy can aid in speeding up the repatriation process.

15 Sierra Leoneans – 12 female and three male – have voluntarily agreed to be repatriated following the mistreatment they claimed to have allegedly received at the hands of the Kuwaiti authorities.

Sierra Leoneans living in Kuwait claimed that they have sent series of messages to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation urging the ministry to expedite their return to Sierra Leone.

According to Madam Thomas, who was escorted on her visit to the Deportation Centers by the Head of Chancery, Mr. Lungay, they had been in contact with the relevant stakeholders in Freetown and that very soon, all travelling documents would be provided for the deportees.

The head of chancery lamented that most of the Sierra Leoneans awaiting deportation entered the country without the knowledge of the Sierra Leone Embassy, noting that the Embassy was only informed when they ran into trouble.

Mr. Lungay urged the Ministry of Labor and Social Security to ensure that all companies recruiting people for employment in the Middle East have the correct global certification before they would be granted licences to take Sierra Leoneans overseas for employment.

It could be recalled that The Exclusive has over the past few years written critically about the dangers of illegal migration and the risks attached to it. It therefore warned young Sierra Leoneans to do proper soul-searching before committing their hard earned monies to agents with the promise of being employed in the Middle East. But the defiant young Sierra Leoneans who never took the warning seriously later found that on their arrival, they were mostly abandoned by their agents and left at the mercy of their new masters who reportedly overworked them inhumanly with paltry sums as they wished.