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GPU visits family of missing journalist to show solidarity

Jul 10, 2015, 10:20 AM

The executive of the Gambia Press Union on Tuesday paid a visit to the family of the disappeared Gambian journalist, exactly 9 years after he went missing in the thin air.

The executive, led by Saikou Jammeh, secretary general of the union, visited the family home of Ebrima Chief Manneh in Laming village.

Chief Manneh, as he was fondly called, was a senior reporter with the Daily Observer newspaper. He was reportedly picked up at his workplace on 7 July 2006 by plainclothes state security agents and never returned. His whereabouts remain largely unknown.

Efforts made over the years by the GPU and partners as well as the family of Manneh have so far produced no results as regards his whereabouts.

The GPU Secretary General told the Manneh family that the disappearance of Chief Manneh has been heartache to the GPU and the journalism fraternity at large for he was a colleague, brother and a relative.

“The day he went missing is a day that we should not forget,” he said, adding that what happened to Chief if allowed to continue unchecked could happen to any journalist in the country.

Jammeh said the union has been doing everything possible to have clear information about Chief Manneh but to no avail.

The GPU has engaged ministers, national assembly members, diplomats and other relevant stakeholders for all to help find out the whereabouts of Chief Manneh.

Sarjo Manneh, father of Chief Manneh, said the disappearance of his son has caused him sleepless nights as he thinks about his son day and night.

“I am powerless so I leave everything to Allah,” he said, adding that he has done everything within his means to know the whereabouts of his son but to no avail.

In June 2011, the UK Foreign Office revealed that the Gambia government has informally agreed to calls for independent investigations by the UN into the disappearance of Chief Manneh.

In September 2012, the US embassy in Banjul, also announced that the President has ‘reaffirmed his commitment to... allowing the United Nations to investigate chief’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, this year, for the first time in its history, the GPU will commemorate the disappearance of Chief Manneh with a symposium at Gambia Pastoral Institute today, Friday at 4pm.

The union will use the platform to call on the international community to engage The Gambia government with a view to ensuring that chief reunites with his family.