As part of its Badingbung (family house) initiative, Beakanyang over the weekend held a day-long peace, justice and reconciliation Bantaba at Baja Kunda village in Wuli East District, URR.
In his welcome address, Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, Executive Director Beakanyang said such programmes could be emotional for victims but are needed to bring closure to them.
The BADINGBUNG (family house) of Beakanyang seeks to use traditional methods of truth seeking, justice and reconciliation.
“This activity seeks to provide victims of human rights violations a community platform to share their stories and encourage perpetrators to accept the truth and seek for forgiveness from their victims,” he said.
“It’s our humble opinion that this programme will provide an opportunity for survivors and victims in this district who are yet to appear before the TRRC to also share their stories with the rest of the country,” he noted.
He added: “We have documented the stories of many victims and we realized that many people, including those of you here present, are survivors of gross human rights violations mostly meted on you by the former government,” Jawneh lamented.
He encouraged victims to speak up and also advised perpetrators to make the best use of the opportunity to seek for forgiveness from their victims.
Speaking earlier, Oustass Makeh Jagne, vice chairperson of Badingbung said: “With this initiative Beakanyang is promoting truth seeking, justice, reconciliation and peace in our communities. We are using our traditional methods of conflict resolution and using Islam as a guide.”
In declaring the forum open on behalf of the Head Chief of Wuli East, Alhagie Juwara thanked Beakanyang for the laudable initiative.
“We need this kind of activities to truth telling, community healing and reconciliation and also facilitate the restoring of broken relations,” he said.
He called on participants to learn from their parts while respecting human rights to promote social cohesion and peace.
Board Chairperson of Beakanyang Mr. Yaya Sumareh thanked the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund for funding the activity as part of Beakanyang’s transitional justice project called: “promoting communal healing in post dictatorial Gambia.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the ward councilors of Foday Kunda and Baja Kunda, Sarja Kamateh and Omar Garry respectively.