Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where are these people?

The Gambia’s “disappeared”

Ousman Jatta – missing
Kanyiba Kanyi – missing
Momodou Lamin Nyassi – missing
Ndongo Mboob – missing
Buba Sanyang – missing
Chief Ebrima Manneh – missing

Where are these people? In one of West Africa’s smallest, most easy-going, most tourist-friendly countries, being arrested (if you’re Gambian) is a dangerous business, as these recent reports indicate.

“Release suffers setback” runs one headline from the local paper, Foroyaa.

Setback? I’ll say. Some technical difficulty Your Honour? Oh, nothing out of the ordinary, we just don’t have the prisoners. In fact we don’t know where they are.


  1. Missing

    To become a missing person is a real danger, and the simple solution for a leader of a country. They just make you disappear and the family eventually stops searching, and there is no way to prove what happened, you are erased.

    I have has numerous people write me over the years searching for their children. After the Tsunami in Thailand, I instantly had two or three people write me asking if I knew their sons or daughters.

    Whoosh washed away with a wave.

    I am positive many independent travelers on the planet are killed, buried and never seen again. The parents sit at home, maybe in the UK, USA, some country and wait for the person to return.

    The parents of friends in desperation get on the pages like mine, just a guy traveling in Asia, South America or somewhere, then they ask,
    “Have you seen this person?”

    I cannot answer, I do, but what can I say, they are searching for a needle in haystack, and the world is too big.

    And then they say, my Son with many tattoos, known to do drugs, hangs out with nefarious characters and never writes is missing. Last seen hanging around with a hooker in this country.

    Andy in Togo
    Andy of

  2. Yes, I don't know which is worse – vanished without trace or arrested and then "lost". From the relatives' point of view, I think it has to be the former. At least in cases like the Gambia's judicial disappearances, you have identifiable individuals who can one day be called to account.