Poor father appeals for help as son ‘rots’ in DRC detention camp

Poor father appeals for help as son ‘rots’ in DRC detention camp
Gibson Alex 35 (L) and his young brother Seme Michael 23 (R) pose for a photo in front of one of the detention facilities in Dungu-DRC in December 2021. (Photo: Courtesy)

A peasant farmer from Western Equatoria State is appealing for help from the national and state governments to save his ailing son from the hands of his abductors in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gibson Alex, 35 has been in a detention camp in DRC since October 2021.

He was allegedly arrested by the Congolese Armed Forces, while on a fishing expedition alongside three others, including his younger brother, Seme Michael.

Gibson’s life continues to deteriorate after he contracted tuberculosis (TB) with his abductors demanding a $700 ransom.

Meanwhile, Seme, 23, and another suspect were released after paying ransom to the army, family said.

The army, however, detained Gibson until additional $700 is settled.

Despite their low income, the family claims that they have since parted with $3000 in ransom.

“I would like to call on the government to intervene for the sake of the health and safety of my son,” Taban told City Review via phone.

“They are not serving him any food. We have to take meals to him from here (South Sudan), and the security of the road from (Nzara County to Dungu) is not good, which is another risk,” added a distraught Taban.

“The government is aware that my son is being detained in Dungu but it seems they no longer care about the citizens. It is sad the Congolese whom they were arrested with, passed on two days ago. I am worried about my son. He may also die because we have failed to raise 7 papers (700 dollars) to rescue him.

“When this particular incident took place, it was reported to us and we followed it and we prepared a report which I submitted to my State government.”

In an interview with the Eye Radio recently, the Commissioner of Nzara County of Western Equatoria State, Zizi Richard confirmed the incident but did not mention how the state government intend to solve the matter with its Congolese counterpart.