BY Kebba AF Touray
Repatriated Gambians have called for government to help them with jobs and to facilitate the repatriation of thousands of Gambians trapped in Libya.
More and more Gambian migrants continue to be repatriated back to their homeland after their efforts and struggle to reach Europe via the “back way” route proved futile. This medium ventured out and sought the opinions of these migrants and ascertained their views, especially their expectations from the new government.
Foday Nyabally, a native of Wuli Sutukoba said he embarked on this deadly journey with a view to access greener pastures in Europe to cater for his family back home. He added that as a youth, it’s disheartening to be sitting and folding your hands, whist seeing your parents suffer; this is what has compelled him to embark on the journey.
Narrating his ordeal, he said he went through a lot of difficulties both on the way and in Libya, among them are starvation and thirst. He cited while in Libya, they were robbed, tortured and exposed to all sorts of inhuman and degrading treatment. He continued in Agades, 69 of them shared the same room, wherein they were tortured as result of which three (3) of his colleagues died. “We have gone through all types of inhuman treatments”, he emphasized.
Nyabally finally appealed to the government to urgently render assistance to the Gambians in Libya and repatriate them home, noting that they are in deplorable condition.
Yaya Darboe, a resident of Tabokoto stressed that he spent 18 months in Libya and got apprehended just two weeks after his arrival. He said he spent eight months in Gryiana and was released after paying a ransom of D40,000. He said a week later he was re-arrested and was jailed for one month in a prison and was asked to pay a ransom of D20,000.
Darboe like all other migrants confirmed the inhuman and degrading treatment meted out on them in Libya. He said with no hope of achieving his target, he decided to join the flight and returned home. He also added his voice on his colleagues in the appeal for the government to swiftly render assistance to its citizenry in Tripoli and repatriate them and create employment opportunities for them.
Other migrants include Musa Drammeh, Mustapha Sallah, Omar Maiga all highlighted the inhuman and degrading treatments they went through. In addition to robbery, kidnapping, death and torture are the order of the present day in Libya. They all reaffirmed the call and need for the government to quickly do its utmost and return the Gambians who are suffering in the hands of Libyans, pointing out that they are in unbearable conditions. They also called on the new regime to create job opportunities for them to be able to fend for themselves, families, relatives and more significantly to contribute their quota to the development of their country (The Gambia).
More than 500 Gambian migrants have so far been repatriated in just five months, still there are thousands of them who are in dire need of financial assistance to be brought back home to reunite with their families, friends, relatives and loved ones, after a long time, the questions now raise; What plans does the government have for them (migrants) ?