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Gambian Youth Dies In Libya

Sep 7, 2009, 7:34 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

One Saloum Jorbateh, a Gambian citizen and a resident of Niani Kayai in the northern part of the Central River Region believed to be in his mid twenties has met his untimely death while trying to cross the Libyan border to the Canary Islands in Spain through the 'back way,' the Point has been reliably informed

The practice of embarking on perilous journeys, mostly sea voyages have in recent years been an all- too-common phenomenon that has taken its toll on the life of African youths who resolved to reach the European mainland by all means.

Like many African countries, The Gambia has lost many of its citizens, mainly the youths on the dangerous seas between Spain and Morocco. Despite the recurrent grievous nature of the lost of lives, many are still willing to brave the precarious conditions to enter Europe, notably Spain and Italy.

Confirming the story to this reporter yesterday in an interview, Mr Babucarr Jabbi, the Chairman of "Operation No Back Way to Europe" who walked into our offices, said "Saloum Jobateh lost his life not long ago while trying to cross the Libyan border to the Canary Islands in Spain."

Mr. Jabbi described the perilous journey to the industrialised world as a form of human trafficking, adding that it is illegal to travel to other countries without proper documentation. He added that those 'fake traffickers' are always interested in money, not the lives of their clients. 

He revealed that his organisation aims to enlighten Gambian youths on the dangers posed by illegal migration, noting that they should learn from the past.

Mr. Jabbi who said he was once a victim of illegal migration, gave as an advice that both the youths, as well as the traffickers should desist from such practice.

Chairman Jabbi maintained that the act of illegal migration is "unacceptable and barbaric in any law of any country."

In conclusion, he urged the youths to make the best use of the opportunities available to them, rather than risk their lives in foreign lands.

For her part, Mrs. Hawa Jorbateh- Njie, the Vice-Chairperson of the organisation, said most youths attribute their extreme decision of embarking on the 'back way' to the lack of employment in their respective countries, but urged that they should try to venture into meaningful production so as help develop themselves.

Mrs. Jobarteh-Njie also buttressed that the "back way journey" is very dangerous and that no human-being should dream of embarking on it.

Mr. Jabbi and Mrs. Hawa Jorbateh- Njie used the occasion to offer their condolences to the bereaved family.