- After five months of being at pain, the family of The Gambia's missing journalist at last heave a sigh of relief that Chief Ebrima Manneh is still alive. He was seen at a regional police station in Fatoto, over 400 kilometres east of the capital Banjul.
Mr Manneh, a journalist of pro-government 'Daily Observer' newspaper, went missing on 7 July last year. Plain clothed officers of the feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) were reported to have arrested Mr Manneh at the premises of the 'Daily Observer'. Officers of both institutions have repeatedly denied such claims.
After his arrest, it is reported that he was first detained at the headquarters of the NIA before being transferred to Mile II Central Prisons. He was later moved to police cells in Kartong, Sibanor, Kuntaur and finally Fatoto where he spent three months three weeks.
Gambian authorities have not disclosed the reasons for Mr Manneh's arrest and subsequent detention, despite being confronted several times by his family members.
His arrest was said to be linked to a feature authored by a BBC correspondent on the African Union (AU) summit held in Banjul. "Chief's efforts to reproduce the said feature was aborted, as Observer authorities cancelled the printed pages and went ahead to inform NIA that he is a saboteur to the ruling party," said a source at the 'Observer', disclosing that this followed Mr Manneh's arrest the following day.
His arrest and disappearance have become a cause for concern for both human rights and media activists who have been pilling pressures on The Gambia government to either charge Mr Manneh or release him unconditionally.
An educationist, Tamba Fofana, who had also gone missing for some months, was discovered at a police station in the provinces. He too had been detained at various police stations across the country.
These developments came on the heels of several attacks and closure on the private media in The Gambia by the government, the latest being 'The Independent', whose editor, manager and reporter were tortured by the security agents, who also sealed the popular paper.
Informed sources also said that former Director of National Intelligence Agency, Daba Marena, is still languishing in Mile II Central Prison, although in critical conditions. On 5 April, the government reported that Mr Marena and four others accused of perpetrating the alleged 21 March coup attempt took to their heels after their vehicle somersaulted while they were being transferred to a regional prison.
Since then, many people have accused the government of summarily executing these men.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.