By Omar Bah
President Adama Barrow has said that reconciliation does not mean that those who committed human rights abuses will not be brought to justice.
Speaking at the swearing in of the executive secretary of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) at State House yesterday, President Barrow said: “It is very important to establish the truth for us to take the right and informed decisions to compensate the victims of the former regime and to reconcile as a nation. But that does not mean that human rights abusers will not be brought to justice.
“The swearing of the executive secretary is an important pillar in building a strong institutional foundation in the dispensation of justice. The appointment of the executive secretary is not based on partisan consideration but it has rather been carefully vetted and guided by competence, integrity and qualification,” he stated.
He exhorted: “I have full confidence that you will do your best.
But given the sensitive nature of the task at hand and the high expectations of the public, I encourage you to deliver efficiently and effectively with a high sense of discipline and honesty. Essentially, we trust you to bring out the best recommendations in line with your terms of reference without prejudice against anybody. It is important to note that this TRRC is to investigate numerous allegations of abuse of human rights and willful violations of the Constitution. My government will stand firm for truth and justice and we are committed to the restoration of human rights, fair play and the pursuit of justice for all.
“In this regard, I want to assure you of my government’s maximum support in providing the right environment of transparency and independence for you to effectively perform your assignment without any interference,” he assured.
He said the provision of credible information and pointers by the public are essential for the success of the TRRC. “I therefore, call upon the public to give this commission the necessary support and collaboration to enable it to effectively perform this difficult task.”
The Justice Minister, Abubacar Tambadou, assured the executive director, Dr Baba Galleh Jallow, of his ministry’s support.
Dr Jallow expressed gratitude to the president for availing him the opportunity to contribute in the country’s development process.
While acknowledging that the task ahead of him was challenging, Dr Jallow promised to do his best and work up to expectation.
“With the experience we learned from other countries that conducted similar commissions we will be able to perform up to expectation to avoid mistakes made by those countries,” he said.