by Andreas Kokkinos
The story of Mohamed Kamara was brought to light by the publication of the newspaper "Haravgi." The 41-year-old African former footballer (Nea Salamina, Doxa, Olympiacos Nicosia) has lived in our country for 20 years and raised three children (14, 11 and 5 years old).
According to the report, Mohamed, who is of Sierra Leonean origin, and his family have been informed that he will be deported because he does not meet our country's residency requirements. At the same time, he has made an appeal, claiming that he has lived in Cyprus for almost his entire adult life without ever causing any problems. "I'm just trying to live a normal life with my family. If I am deported, I will be unable to relocate my family. In Sierra Leone, I have nothing, no home, no family," he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today in response to the publication, stating that the status of the family in question has been in the hands of the authorities for more than ten years. It went on to say that the family had been living illegally in Cyprus for 9 years, repeatedly contacting the Ministry of Interior and the Police and that in six of those contacts, the ministry informed the family that they needed to either legalize their stay or be repatriated. Moreover, according to the statement, the recommendations by the Ministry were ignored, however, Mr. Kamara was given another chance (25/2/2021) to apply for a visitor's permit, which he again failed to do. A new notice (5 August) was issued for him to leave Cyprus by 31/8 to allow time for relocation and to avoid disrupting the children's attendance. The Ministry of Interior emphasizes that, as evidenced by the facts, not only was the family not thrown out on the street, as the publication claims but many more -than allowed- legalization opportunities were provided, with foreigners defiantly ignoring and exploiting the authorities' tolerance.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]