By Kebba Jeffang
Mr. Dembo S. Darboe, aka Touray Darboe, has disappeared since Saturday, 16th May, 2016 after two men in plain clothes picked him up at his residence in Kafuta, Kombo East, West Coast Region, a family source told Foroyaa.
Balla Musa Darboe, speaking at their family compound in the Kafuta on Monday, confirmed the arrest of his elder brother and his subsequent disappearance. He said his brother is a farmer who stays in their home village as the head of the family.
“I was in Serekunda when I was informed about his arrest on Saturday, 16th April after lunch. I was told that there was no one at the compound at the time except my brother and his eldest son who was sick. According to his son, two people came there and asked my brother if he is Touray Darboe and when he responded in the positive, they introduced themselves as officers of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and that they came to go with him to their office in Banjul as they just have two questions for him. His son said the father told them to ask him questions there rather than taking him all the way to their office Banjul. He said the officers insisted that he has to go with them and that they will bring him back immediately after the questioning. This was how my brother who is not well was taken away and has not been seen or heard from since then and which is over two weeks now,” said Mr. Darboe.
The younger brother added that he and the other members of the family have been searching everywhere for their elder brother but to no avail. He said he has gone to the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) at Kanifing where some of those arrested on that Saturday were said to have been held but was told that the elder brother is not there and that all those who were detained at the place were released. He said he also went to HOLGAM in Kanifing but he was told that he is not there. He added that he even went to the NIA headquarters in Banjul where he found the main gate locked. He said he knocked on the gate for over 30 minutes but no one answered.
“I contacted many people who I think may know something about the whereabouts of my brother but that none of them have clue of where he is held,” said Mr. Darboe.
He expressed their desperation and frustration regarding the disappearance of Dembo Darboe.
The younger brother said Dembo did not take part in either the 14 April or 16 April events as he was at home all throughout.
“My brother hardly goes out in the village as he is always indoors. He does not participate much in United Democratic Party (UDP) political activities, even though it is our family which hosts the party when it holds meetings in Kafuta and this has been the case since when our father was alive. Dembo’s arrest cannot be linked to his participation in any political activity or protest,” said the younger brother.
“Dembo has a mental case and is under medication and can be very ‘difficult’ when he does not take his medicines,” he said.
Mrs. Ndow Darboe, the wife of Dembo (Touray Darboe), said she was in Amdalie, a nearby village, when he received a call from the husband asking her to meet her at a place in the village. She said upon her arrival at the said place, she saw her husband seating in a vehicle and that when she asked him where he was going, the husband told her that he was being taken to Banjul by the men from NIA but does not know what offence he might have committed.
“In the vehicle, there were four men, including my husband and the driver. The other two men who sandwiched him were not ready to talk to me and it was the driver who told me that they will bring my husband back immediately after questioning him. After this the left and since then I could not see or heard from my husband. Like any other wife would do, I am really frustrated by the disappearance of my husband as he has not done anything wrong to anyone,” said the distraught wife.
Mrs. Darboe said she is urging those holding her husband to release him as he is the main pillar in their household.
Dembo’s aging mother, Balanka Jammeh, also joined in the appeal for her son to be released. “I collapsed when I heard the news of my son’s arrest. He is still missing for over two weeks and I’m really worried about him as his whereabouts are not yet known,” said the grieved stricken mother, who was crying.
The old woman reiterated the longstanding relations their family have with Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the UDP leader, which dates back to the time when her deceased husband was alive.