Gambia is one of the West African countries hugely affected by irregular migration of youths who use Libya as a transit point to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea. At least 4,220 people have lost their lives while trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year according to the International Organization for Migration.
Recent correspondence between the foreign affairs ministry of Libya and that of The Gambia, has indicated that 86 Gambians died in the conflict-ridden North African nation between April 2016 to April 2017 and 34 are missing.
The Secretary General of the Gambian Association in Libya, Edrisa Sarjo said most of the Gambian migrants died in Libya due to illness in prisons or accidents.
In 2017, about 512 Gambians were recorded to have been jailed in Libya, according to the Gambian association there.
Gambia is extensively affected by irregular migration of youths to Italy through Libya and according to Mr. Sarjo, there are currently close to 7000 Gambian stranded in the North African country.
Case Studies Of Hardships And Deaths
Ms. Fatim Jawara (Dead)
Ms. Fatim Jawara, 19, died while trying to cross from Libya to Europe in a boat. Ms. Fatim Jawara was a member of the Gambian squad which qualified for the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2012.
A goalkeeper for the Gambia women's national football team has died in a boat accident while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.19-year-old Fatim Jawara was reportedly in a vessel when it capsized on its way from Libya to Europe. The Gambian Football Federation confirmed her death in a press release from president Lamin Kaba Bajo. Mr Bajo said he was "shocked" at the way Ms Jawara died.
I received the news... and it has really shocked me. The young girl is a talent and on the move for greener pastures but the way she died is just shocking and sympathetic. We at the GFF are very sad about the development and on behalf of the Football Federation, I want to send our condolences to the family of the girl and her former club Red Scorpions.
– Mr Lamin Kaba Bajo, Gambian Football Federation
Mr. Lamin Njie (Abused)
Lamin Njie and other African migrants at the detention centre said there was rampant abuse in Libya. He said the construction bosses had stopped paying wages to labourers, and other men who did get their pay said they were preyed upon by criminal gangs, including marauding teenagers who robbed people at gunpoint.“I want to work,” said Mr Njie, the Gambian. “I left my family behind, so I want to work. And I want to find peace of mind.”
Source: Standard Newspaper
A Gambian girl (Experienced Horror)
Meanwhile, a Gambian girl who has experienced the horrors of the Mediterranean Sea voyage has penned a letter begging migrants not to attempt the sea crossing that she survived, but which killed her family and hundreds of others in a recent string of tragedies.
“Many people have died, my best friends and my sisters and my brothers have died in the wave to come to Italy,” wrote the 12-year-old girl in a letter released last Wednesday.
“What I can say is only to tell you people who want to come don’t come please, my brothers and sisters, because (it) is hard to say goodbye,” added the girl, who asked for the letter be made public.
The child arrived April 14 in Reggio de Calabria in southern Italy with the 150 survivors of a shipwreck which is thought to have killed 400 migrants.
Source: Standard Newspaper
Mr. Sulayman Sonko (Missing)
Mr. Sulayman Sonko, a Gambian national was reported missing in Benghazi where he is working as a Baker in the area controlled by radical Islamist group call ( ANSAR AL- SHARIA).
Africans trying to reach Europe are being sold by their captors in “slave markets” in Libya. Victims told IOM that after being detained by people smugglers or militia groups, they were taken to town squares or car parks to be sold for as low as $200.
The International Organization for Migration has recently helped to return hundreds of Gambians who have voluntarily chosen to come home since political change occurred in the country.
Sources from the IOM say that about 157 Gambians will again be voluntarily repatriated to the country from Libya on May 18, from the Tripoli area.
Lamin Darboe (Wasted)
Gambian man attempting to reach Europe, Lamin Darboe has died in a congested Libyan prison ran by militiamen. Darboe is a native of Farafenni, a commercial border town 72 miles northeast of the Gambian capital, Banjul.
He died in a congested detention facility called “Solomon Prison” in Sabratha town, in Libya’s westernmost Zawiya District. It lies on the Mediterranean coast about 70km (43mi) west of Tripoli.It is a popular stop for Gambian migrants embarking on the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
More Gambian are suspected to be in the prison, according to Edrisa Sarjo, Secretary General of the Gambian Association there. At least 526 Gambians have been so far reported to be held in prisons across Libya, some of them not operated by Libya’s rival governments.
handful of Gambians were among dozens of migrants that died in the Sahara desert in route to Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration.At least 52 people have reportedly died on their way to Libya from Agadez when they were deserted in the Sahara by traffickers.
Only 23 people survived, according to the IOM, including just one 22-year old woman from Nigeria.“Among the 23 survivors are migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. It was not clear for how long they had been walking in the deserts of central Niger.
“They had been in a group of 75 migrants in three different cars, eventually abandoned by smugglers during the journey north,” said Giuseppe Loprete.
Migrants who had recently arrived from Libya decried what seemed to be no end to the cruelty they had endured at the hands of ruthless smugglers, detention center staff, members of the Libyan coast guard and criminal gangs.
Many said they had been held for weeks or months in warehouses by smugglers who beat and tortured them and fed them only an occasional piece of bread or a small handful of pasta.
Others said they had been detained in appalling conditions in detention centers where food was similarly scarce and beatings were common.
Women and girls are subjected to sexual abuse at all stages of the journey to Europe: in official detention centers, traveling through the Sahara desert and at the hands of people smugglers.
(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Reporting from News Agencies; Editing by Sainey Marenah)
the above are the case studies extracted from various local and international newspapers and on the internet around the world about how our Gambian young men and ladies are wasting their lives and future in search of greener pastures ....
The Adonai Art Foundation The Gambia (AFAG) is appealing and calling the unemployed youths to come to our office and learn a trade or visual arts.
We specialized in assigning interested unemployed to specialists in some vocations.