Dozens of Gambians in Libyan jails controlled by militiamen and kidnappers risk death amid reports that the International Organization for Migration could not reach them.
The jails are located in Sabratha in the northwestern Libyan district of Zawiya, a frequent stop for Gambian migrants attempting to reach Europe.
The inaccessibility of the Gambians in these unofficial jails has raised worry among IOM officials and the Gambian association there.
At least one Gambian died in one such jail in Sabratha, where conditions are deplorable and inhumane.
“That area is very dangerous. Things are getting worse every day after the kidnapping of UN staff (around the area),” said Edrisa Sarjo.
Sarjo is the head of the Gambian Association in Libya and spoke to The Standard Newspaper’s Mustapha Darboe.
“We don’t know when we will go there. again,” he said.
ISIL-linked armed militia briefly kidnapped seven UN aid workers in Zawiya after they attacked their car en route from Tunis to Tripoli.
Officials of the National Government Accord managed to persuade them to release the workers seven hours after they were abducted and taken to an unknown location.
The Gambia is without a consulate in Libya since the revolution that ousted its ex-strongman, Moammar Ghaddafi.
It has made it hard for the IOM to help repatriate Gambians stranded in these jails looking for ways to return to their country.