‘Hundreds’of Gambians trapped in Libya fighting


In a telephone interview with The Standard yesterday, he lamented: “The war here is intensifying everyday with no end in sight. There seems to have been a total breakdown of order where the gun talks. Hundreds of Gambians are trapped here in Fuwayeh (migrant suburbs) and connection houses at the mercy of militia groups who see us as mercenaries. The war has severely limited our movements for work and other errands because there is a lot of enmity towards us.

This means that we have to depend on remittances from abroad for survival or in the case of others who have no support they have to depend on the generosity of those with money. We have all been locked up in houses for almost three weeks now since the situation took a marked turn for the worse with depleting supplies,” he said speaking in Mandinka.

For Lamin Kabba in the desert town of Sabha, Gambians are caught between two hard choices – going back home or staying the course. “Our aim is to move to Italy as soon as the situation calms down. With the war going on, it is difficult to get to Tripoli or pay a boat because the current state of war has made it difficult to come by materials. The best thing to do is to come back to The Gambia but that is not an attractive option given we have already gone through a lot to get here. We only hope the war will stop so that we can all pursue our aspirations.”


Mr Kabba called on the government of The Gambia to take steps to provide support to its citizens in the troubled North African country, saying: “It is not easy here. There are many Gambians in Libyan jails who were either arrested in their work, connection houses, and in the Libyan seas. Those people in jail are held in the worst of conditions and are at real risk of further degrading human rights abuses. The Gambia government must send a delegation to free these people from jail. We are here because we want to make our country a better place,” he said.