President Barrow Launches Truth & Reconciliation Commission

President Adama Barrow has yet again launched another Commission, this time the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission of The Gambia at Dunes Hotel, Kotu, in the Kanifing Municipality.

President Barrow said that Gambians have far too long suffered from the oppressive regime of YahyaJammeh which was supposed to protect its citizens. The president saluted the Gambian people who stood up to the tyrant and selflessly laid down their lives for the country during the 22 years of dictatorship.

Mr. Barrow assured Gambians that the dark days for Gambians are over, noting that his government was brave enough in appointing human rights lawyers as the attorney general and the chief justice. He pointed out that his government has set in motion a series of institutional and constitutional reforms, noting that the government has commenced a major reform for the security sector.

President Barrow stated that the TRRC was set up as a means of addressing the legacy of 22 years of former dictatorial rule, adding that it is imperative for The Gambia to carry out investigations of the 22 years of human rights abuses and violations committed by the former Gambian dictator. He revealed that in setting up the TRRC, special emphasis was made on its independence, noting that The Gambia TRRC would be the 6th Truth Commission that would be launched in Africa, whilst citing the South Africa after the end of Apartheid and Sierra-Leone after the end of the brutal civil war.

President Barrow called on the families of the victims and the perpetrators to come together and stressed the need to uphold the rule of law as Gambian people move to towards a new direction. The president urged all Gambians to work together to build a peaceful Gambia, noting that the TRRC is an historic opportunity to rewrite the country’s history.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr M. Tambadou disclosed that the consultation for the setting up of the TRRC was led by himself, noting that the primary objective of the TRRC is to investigate the 22 years of the former dictator. He stated that the former dictator left a legacy of false disappearance and torture – a regime where school children were gunned down in cold blood, where civil servants would go to work and never return home again; where people speak about leaders by whispering; where ethnic hatred was targeted at certain community.

He reminded all and sundry not to forget that less than two years ago, when thousands fled the country to avoid outbreak of violence. In her remarks, FatouBomBensouda, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, congratulated President Adama Barrow for establishing the TRRC and the attorney general and minister of Justice for his contribution.She stated that President Barrow has gone far in demonstrating government’s commitment to the rule of law, noting that protecting the citizenry from the scourge of war is another commitment to the rule of law.

The ICC chief prosecutor pointed out that the commission has an important mandate to investigate the human violations committed from 1994 to 2017, noting that her office will be following the TRRC proceedings with great interest and to see how best her office can contribute. She assured that the ICC stands right to assist TRRC Gambia in achieving its aims and objectives.

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