Mother of missing Gambian migrant tells of her loss

The mother of a Gambian migrant who went missing in Libya has said that the time last she heard from her son was four years ago.

“We communicated only twice after his departure and all I hear afterward were stories from colleagues he left with,’’ said Saruba Badjie. ‘’Some [reports] claim that he was captured in detention by militants in Libya whilst others said they heard rumors of his death in the desert.”

Saruba Badjie of Brikama Town in Western Gambia suffers from great psychological trauma over the prolonged disappearance of her son who, according to her, headed for Europe in May 2014.

“Tapha Saine left for Europe through the infamous back way in May 2014 and went missing in the North African countries few months later”.

The mother of three could hardly keep her voice steady when we spoke to her. She recounted the charm, hard work and responsibility of her son. She added that he would offer an extra hand in the garden as well as taking care of the kids at home.

She strongly believes that her son’s determination to succeed motivated him to brave the dangerous Sahara journey to provide for the family.

Painting a picture of how deep Tapha’s disappearance is affecting her mental well being, the grief-stricken woman disclosed how she tears up every time his friends call their family members from Italy.

“It’s painful you know. I break down into tears anytime I hear his friends’ voices on the phone; they bring back memories of my son over and again,” she stated.

Tapha’s story comes at a time when many young Gambians are risking their lives in taking the back way to try to reach Europe without fully understanding the risks involved in this perilous journey. His story also reminds us of the families who lose track of their loved ones when they choose to make this dangerous journey and disappear without a trace.

Saruba concluded by encouraging mothers to advise against these risky adventures and hopes someone who reads this will help her trace her son.

TMP – 09/07/2018

Photo credit: TMP