14
Oct
07

Toronto woman disappears in Somalia

Toronto woman disappears in Somalia

Boyfriend concerned she’s in jail for refusing arranged marriage

Oct 03, 2007 04:30 AM
Michelle Shephard
Staff Reporter

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. Source.

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