KEMO CHAM in Freetown
Anxiety has hit Sierra Leone following the abduction of its citizens in the restive north African country of Libya.
According to local media reports, 20 Sierra Leoneans were taken by an unidentified group in the south-western Libyan city of Sabha.
It is not yet clear if it is a kidnapping for ransom case.
One of the abductees, named Christian Kargbo, managed to put through a distress call to a local Freetown publication, alleging that they were been tortured by their abductors.
He said the 14 men have been locked inside a house while the women are in a different location.
“We were on our way to Italy for greener pastures when we were seized here 14 days ago,” Kargbo was quoted byPolitico Newspaper.
He appealed for the intervention of the Sierra Leonean government, which is yet to issue any statement on the matter.
Irregular migration is rarely an issue of public discussion in Sierra Leone because it is thought to be remote.
But a large number of Sierra Leoneans are believed to have been making the perilous journey to Europe through North Africa, mostly Libya.
In 2013, dozens of Sierra Leonean youths on a similar journey were stranded in the same Sabha city after been abandoned by what turned out to be a phony recruitment agency.