By Momodou Ndow
Human Trafficking is a crime everywhere and the “back way” business is just that – a crime against humanity! It is organized crime and it is time the Gambian Government take this crime seriously! How many lives have been lost through the “back way”? When will this be taken for the serious crime against humanity that it is?
Those operating these Human Trafficking Rings should be arrested and charged for endangering lives and the death of those who perished at sea. It seems like nothing is a big deal to us and we keep saying “Yalla morko dogal”, but beh kange? We have romanticized this “back way” phenomenon, and it’s consuming our youths. You hear people say “suma dom bi dafa buga dem back way”, “kee demna back way last week”, or “mann passi back way rek mormafi tek”, as if “back way” is an ideal thing to do. It really beats me!
Of late, there has been a hike in “back way” action in the Niumi area, especially in Barra. The boats have been departing from Jinack Island and the fee is D35, 000. The human Trafficking Rings will collect as much money as they can, and fill up the boats way beyond their capacity. Even at capacity, these “Gali Serer’s) are not meant for such a journey, let alone ten times their capacity. These journeys are a deadly arrangement from the onset and a serious crime against humanity. I live 6, 415 mile away from Gambia, yet I am aware of these criminal transactions. So how come the Government is not cracking down on these criminal enterprises?
This latest uptick has also generated self-pressure on other parents to try purr lejanteh pass for their kids to take the “back way” too, since all the other kids are going. Just on Monday, I had a conversation with a relative who was solicited for passi “back way” regarding the extreme danger to the lives of these kids, with such a risky journey. The D35, 000 has been collected, and now 58 are dead and gone for good. If the D35,000 was borrowed, it is still owed. And tomorrow the Human Trafficking Rings will resume business as usual. Unless we stop romanticizing the “back way” and the government gets serious about stopping it, we will keep waking up to such tragedies!