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Toronto Woman Jailed In Somalia For Refusing Marriage, Say Friends

Issue 298
Front Page

Somaliland’s Armed Forces Chief Says, “We Are Determined To Secure S/land Borders”

S/land Foreign Affairs Minister Appoints New Representatives

Somaliland Will Close Its Borders, By Peace Or War

''Somalia's President Yusuf Loses His Grip on Power''

Uganda Envoy Brokering Somali Peace As Five Killed In Mogadishu

Breaking into even smaller bits?

European Union - The Grand Experiment

U.S. Congressmen Support Sanctions On Ethiopia

Hirsi Ali Returns to the Netherlands after Losing Body Guards

Regional Dimensions of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in the "Ogaden," Somalia, and Beyond - Testimony of Dr. J. Peter Pham

Dangerous Crossroads: US Sponsored War Games

Greece struggles to curb influx of illegal immigrants

America's Energy Wars - A New Front - Africa

Regional Affairs

Aid Workers Suspend Operations As Somaliland, Puntland Row Deepens

Somaliland newspaper’s provincial correspondent held by police for past four days

Special Report

International News

The Sino-Russian Alliance: Challenging America's Ambitions in Eurasia

Toronto Woman Jailed In Somalia For Refusing Marriage, Say Friends

Racism Forces Somalis Off Estate


The Anglo-Somali War 1901-1920 or "How to get rid of a rebel"

The Past, Through The Looking-Glass

Experts divided on local presence of chewable drug khat in Fort McMurray

Sleeping Sickness One Of Africa’s Most Serious Development Constraints

Susceptibility To The Partition

Gucci shoes, a bag of rice, and an AK-47 - you won't believe the price

Somalis live in fear as alleged killer freed

Olympics not too Farah away

Somali novelist Farah tops Frankfurt's Africa literary list - Feature

Food for thought


TFG Vs. Somaliland Showdown In Disputed Sool Region

Will KULMIYE Usher New Political Direction Or Remain Eclipsed By The Feuding Of Its Leaders?

“Sheik” Hassan Jaami’s Plagiarized Article Exposed


The Laas-Canood And Buhoodle

Debunking the Mystery Surrounding the NSPU

Is Kulmiye Destroying Somaliland's Pastoral Democracy?

The Last Ten Nights Of Ramadan

By Michelle Shephard

Toronto, Oct 03, 2007 - The mysterious disappearance of a 23-year-old Toronto woman in Somalia has Canadian officials looking for her, and her boyfriend worried she's being punished for their relationship.

Najah Jama has not been heard from since August when she called her boyfriend at the Toronto apartment they share, telling him she was jailed for refusing to marry a local Somali. Jama had left Toronto with her mother in March for a six-month vacation in northern Somalia. It was the first time she had ever visited her mother's homeland.

The couple stayed in touch during her vacation, but in July a distraught Jama called her boyfriend, Seifu Getahun, to say she had been taken into custody. She said her mother had asked her to marry a Muslim man from her hometown and became upset and called police when Jama insisted she wanted to wed Getahun, a Canadian of Ethiopian Christian heritage. Ethiopia and Somalia have a long history of war, most recently exacerbated by the presence of Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu, the country's anarchic capital.

None of Jama's relatives could be reached for comment.

Getahun said he last spoke with Jama on Aug. 1, after she said she bribed a guard to use his cellphone. A telephone bill of that conversation shows a 27-minute call to a Somali cellphone. Calls to that number went unanswered this week.

But Getahun said he also received a call earlier this summer from Jama's brother asking for money. Her brother told him that Jama was in jail because she had gotten in a fight with another woman and needed money to get her out. Getahun wired $50, after which the brother's phone number no longer worked.

When asked what he believes has happened to his girlfriend, Getahun replied, "I trust her. When she was here we were together 24/7."

Before Jama left, the couple had made plans to meet in Ethiopia in September..

Getahun met Jama at a downtown coffee shop almost three years ago and they have been dating since. The 34-year-old works as a cleaner at an upscale condo near King and Sherbourne Sts. Jama did not work, so spent most days with Getahun at the building where residents grew to know her well.

"She'd give you the shirt off her back. She's a very gentle, kind person with a childlike quality to her," said resident Maureen Muscott-Smith. A government spokesperson confirmed that officials are trying to determine Jama's whereabouts, but would say little of the case, citing privacy laws.

The Canadian government's only representatives in the area are stationed at Nairobi's High Commission in neighbouring Kenya.

Further complicating the murky story is the fact that the normally calm region in northern Somalia where Jama is allegedly detained has erupted in fighting this week.

Source: Toronto Star


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