(JollofNews) – The number of Gambians currently kidnapped in Libya’s third city of Sab’ha, in the absence of official statistics, is difficult to ascertain but according to unofficial sources, it’s into hundreds.
Gambians are also being held in the towns of Gatron, Moursouk and Madrousa, sources say.
Sab’ha is the third transit point for thousands fleeing poverty, unemployment, persecution and dictatorship in one of West Africa’s poorest countries into Europe and, details of kidnappings, torture and detention bring to fore the human sufferings in this third Libyan city.
‘’Our relatives back home may be of the thought that we’re living and working in Libya or Europe whilst we’re languishing in the hands of kidnappers,’’ lamented Kunta Saidy who’ve been kidnapped since the beginning of this year.
Like Kunta, some have been kidnapped for more than nine months now and failure in paying a ransom means prolonged detention in squalid and inhumane conditions.
Indeed, whilst relatives back home may be of the thought that their loved ones are either living and working in Libya or safe in Europe, the truth is that most of them are currently in unofficial prisons in Sab’ha and could spend months or even years in detention if they fail to pay ransoms ranging from 500 Dinars to 1000 or even more.
‘’We’re given only a loaf of bread and cheese a day and sometimes we don’t get food at all. Many here suffer malnutrition, anaemia as a result of insect bites whilst others are subjected to systematic torture for failure in paying ransom or attempting to escape,’’ revealed a former member of the Gambia Armed Forces who went awol earlier this year.
The former soldier, (name withheld) on his request, is currently being held for aiding and abetting the escape of 11 Gambians from one of the kidnap centres in Sab’ha and faces possible execution or prolonged detention if he defaults in paying a ransom of D11 million.
Sab’ha, which had seen one of the bloodiest racial conflicts in Libya at the beginning of this year, still remain volatile with rival militias in control of the city’s Sarakha India and Abu Qafir areas. The intermittent fighting between rival groups do not only engender deep and widespread insecurity for the Arab and black populations there but also for immigrants transiting to Tripoli from the west of the country.
Meanwhile, Aki Bangura of Brikama, Yorro Jallow of Niamina Kudang, Hakuru Sukuna of Kantora Gambisara Lamoi, Muhammad Tunkara of Gambisara Lamoi, Musa Jarju of Busumbala, Kandeh Kabba of Sabi, Lamin Camara of Lamin village, Birama Jakiteh of Misiraba Mariama,Sulayman Joof of Busumbala, Cherno Trawally, Bakary Trawally, Saikou Cham,Muhammed Darboe, Dad Trawally, Ebrima Trawally all of Bundung, Lamin Fadera of Ebo Town, Ebrima Njie of Bundung Borehole, Ebrima Manneh of Latrikunda Piccadilly, Musa Sarr of Banjul; kidnapped in Sab’ha and Gatron sometime this year have all gained their liberty and are either in Libya or Europe as we write this report.
In another news, the whereabouts of Ayoub Jaiteh, a prominent Gambian living in Sab’ha, is not yet known as we write this report. Ayoub was removed from his house in Tripoli by three suspicious-looking men and since then, nothing was heard of him.