Monday, September 25

Gambian Reportedly Dead at Melilla Migrants Stampede

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By Kebba Ansu Manneh

News reaching this medium has stated that Omar Ceesay, a Gambian migrant who is said to be a native of Sinchu Baliya is reportedly dead at the Morocco-Spain border crossing point of Melilla. Ceesay was among over two thousand five hundred (2,500) other African migrants who over the weekend embarked on a futile journey to forcefully enter Spain through the Melilla border post.

Speaking to The Voice Newspaper, Ebrima Drammeh, a Gambian migrant activist based in Malta revealed that seventeen (17) Gambian migrants were among the African migrants who fell victims in the hands of the Moroccan and Spanish border guards, disclosing that one Gambian is reported to have lost his life, while another one has his two legs broken.

“What we know is that one Gambian brother called Omar Ceesay from Sinchu Baliya has lost his life during his attempt to cross into Spain. We also understand that one Alasana Touray has two of his legs broken and is currently under medical attention,” Ebrima Drammeh revealed.

Drammeh who could not establish the whereabouts of the remaining 15 Gambian migrants alleged that they might have been arrested and held in difficult situations due to the heavy-handedness of the Moroccan and Spanish border guards who usually subjected the migrants to all forms of torture and other ill-treatment.

The Gambian migrant Activist dismissed reports emanating from both the Moroccan and Spanish authorities that only eighteen (18) migrants died, noting that Activists have recorded eighty-seven (87) who died at the border while crossing and attempting to enter Spanish territory.

“What we recorded is far more than the number which Moroccan and Spanish media are reporting. We recorded 87 African migrant deaths, 134 succeeded to enter Spanish territory, 376 African migrants were seriously injured, and 140 Morocco security personnel were injured, too” Ebrima Drammeh breakdown the numbers.

He called on The Gambia and African Governments to take up the matter with the Moroccan and Spanish authorities to shed light on the brutality meted out against the poor and vulnerable Africans. He added that most of the people who died at the border were largely Somalis, Eritreans, Ethiopians, and Sudanese.

Yaya Sonko, another Gambian migrant activist corroborated the statement of Ebrima Drammeh that three Gambians living in Morocco confirmed the demise of one Gambian and another who had his legs broken.

He called on The Gambia Government to do all efforts to rescue the other sixteen Gambians said to be among the African migrants because the fate of most of those arrested is yet to be known and under which conditions they are being held also remains in the cloud.