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7 UK MPS CALL FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF TRRC REPORT disappointed with Barrow’s broken promise

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By Alagie Manneh

At least seven members of the House of Commons in the UK have signed an Early Day Motion, EDM, welcoming the “imminent publication” of the Gambia’s truth commission’s report, and demanded it be “fully implemented”.

An EDM in the Westminister system is a motion tabled by Members of Parliament that formally call for debate “on an early day”. In practice, they are rarely debated in the House and their main purpose is to draw attention to particular subjects of interest. 

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The MPs including long-serving Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, also expressed their regret that President Barrow refused to step down as originally agreed with the coalition that backed him.

Tabled on 21 July in the UK parliament and published on the same day, the motion reads: “…This House welcomes the imminent publication of the report by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission of The Gambia, following publicly televised testimony for over two years from victims and former officials, including members of an elite death squad, implicating former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh in the killing and torture of political opponents, the murder of almost 60 West African migrants, the rape and sexual assault of women and a sham HIV treatment programme resulting in over 30 deaths. [This House] hopes the report recommendations will be implemented, and the criminal prosecution of Jammeh and his main accomplices will follow.”

The parliamentarians noted that “since the end of Jammeh’s brutal 22-year dictatorship in 2017, progress in restoring fundamental rights has yet to be consolidated, for instance by ensuring future elections are free and fair and the harassment of journalists and other civil society representatives by the security forces ended. [This House] regrets current Gambian President Adama Barrow did not step down as originally agreed with the coalition that backed him…”

The motion said corruption, FGM and child marriage remain “serious problems” in The Gambia.

The MPs praised the imposition of sanctions by the UK Government and others on former Gambian president Jammeh, his wife and the former director-general of the country’s National Intelligence Agency.

“[This House] calls on the Government [of The Gambia] to continue supporting The Gambia’s democratic transition, to assist with implementing the report recommendations and to back the criminal prosecution of Jammeh and others responsible for gross abuses there.”

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