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Sidi Sanneh: Is Jammeh behind the human trafficking that feeds the “Backway” syndrome?


The white shiny bus

A blog post first published June 15th, 2015.
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The white shiny bus shown here has been identified in a Washington Post article authored by Kevin Sieff that serves as the beginning of the “Backway” journey from The Gambian capital of Banjul with the final destination of Agadez, Niger.

We wrote a piece last April, identifying Banjul as one of the centers of human trafficking.  Greater Banjul is a city at war with itself with military road block every 500 meters along the highway which made us to conclude that it is inconceivable for the authorities to be unaware of the human trafficking activities going on right in front of their noses.

Light is finally beginning to be shone on this aspect of the ‘Backway syndrome’, thanks to the focus that highly reputable news outlets’ increasing focus on this sliver of a land that is contributing more than any country in Africa, proportionally speaking.

The “Backway” traffic increased markedly since last December, resulting in a significant increase in drownings in the Mediterranean. 14% of those who drowned in the first quarter of this year were Gambian, a country of 1.8 million which triggered international curiosity as to what’s going on in The Gambia.

The bus pictured here is of particular interest because it cannot be allowed to circulate freely without someone higher up the chain of authority assuring its free movement across the Gambia with human cargo on board whose finally destination is known.

If Jammeh is opposed to human trafficking and has accused parents of those allowing their children of being un-Islamic because they are contributing towards their fares, why buses, like the one depicted here, operating freely.

Jammeh appears to be augmenting his campaign of deception by asking the ICC Chief prosecutor to investigate why Gambians and African emigrants are allowed to die in the Mediterranean, and accusing Italy and EU of deliberately causing the deaths.  It is also a preemptive move since the Italian government has announced their investigation of the human trafficking aspect of the tragedy.

Just as Jammeh has refused to accept that his bad economic policies and the human rights conditions of Gambians, he has deliberately turned a blind eye to the human trafficking going on at his front door.

Help us identify this shiny white bus.  Thank you.



Sidi Sanneh