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City of Banjul
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Amidst the hullabaloo of calls for the return of Jammeh

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Mid last week, thousands of supporters of the former ruling party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) descended on the streets to demand the return of their former leader, Yahya Jammeh.

The APRC protested to demand that the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Gambia Government honour the agreement they had signed with Yahya Jammeh and allow him to return to the Gambia.

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The agreement was reached in order to allow for a peaceful transition of power to newly elected president,Adama Barrow, after the former president refused to step down leading to an impasse in the country.

The atmosphere was that of fear because the possibility of a war breaking out was very high. At that time, the ECOWAS leaders initiated talks to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the political crisis.

Ultimately, these international bodies, the Government of the Gambia and the former leader came to an agreement for him to go on exile with the understanding that as a citizen, he could return to the country in the long term.
However, since his exile and the setting up of first the Janneh Commission and later the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), hundreds of human rights violations and economic crimes have been attributed to him.

Thus, many citizens are aggrieved that he seems to be getting away from justice. Hispossible return will therefore be received with mixed feelings as the victims of his regime will certainly be traumatized again.

The Attorney General and minister of Justice has however issued a statement saying that if and when Yahya Jammeh returns to the country he will be arrested and made to face the full force of the law.

After the massive rally of the APRC, the victim centre and other civil society organizations have also announced plans to hit the streets to call for justice. The campaigned, dubbed J2J, is gaining momentum and seems to have massive support from the ordinary citizens.

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