It is a dreadful Christmas season for hundreds of Sierra Leoneans that have gone into hiding are reportedly listed by German authorities as illegal migrants.

These Sierra Leoneans are expected to present themselves to German immigration authorities for their paperwork to be completed for onward repatriation back to Sierra Leone.

With reports that the German government which engaged the government of Sierra Leone on the issue before the COVID-19 outbreak is adamant about the deportation, and has sent letters to the addresses of the would-be deportees, many have gone underground.

According to The Exclusive, in October, Sierra Leonean migrants were asked to attend identity hearings. Over 1,000 were issued with emergency travelling certificates by Sierra Leone Immigration Officials. Germany has done the same for Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal in the recent past.

Knowing that the objective was to process them for deportation, they staged a protest in Munich where many are still camped at the site โ€“ the only place where they are safe from arrest, as German law states that a person cannot be arrested while demonstrating.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Lahai Lawrence Leema maintained that the government will not be part of illegality. โ€œWe cannot deny our citizens if they are to be deported for living illegally in another country,โ€ he answered.