For the sake of truth and reconciliation, TRRC must succeed!


One must certainly touch wood for merely thinking that the TRRC is ineffectual let alone believing the truth-telling body is on the path to a disastrous failure.

Millions of dalasis being invested in the works of the commission, TRRC’s failure is what the nation cannot settle down to.

Following the ignominious debacles of the Janneh and Constitutional Review commissions, there exist reasons for believing that TRRC may be another futile public performance of attempting to right the wrongs of the 22-year Jammeh reign of terror.


As feverish attempts continue to salvage the crashed draft new constitution, fears seem to be mounting over the fate of the TRRC as well.

When the over 200 victims of Jammeh’s tyrannical rule mustered the courage and came out to narrate their stories to the TRRC and thousands around the world, their overriding goal must certainly be the achievement of justice at the end of the exercise.

However, it would seem the hope of many for justice is fading fast and worryingly growing elusive.

“I yearn for justice and it would be heart-warming if dispensed. However, my only worry is that nothing tangible came from the recommendations of the Janneh Commission. I am, therefore, making an appeal to President Adama Barrow to ensure that TRRC doesn’t suffer the same fate. We are deeply concerned about the fate of the TRRC and it would be very disappointing and disheartening if nothing comes out it.

We are really worried and contemplate it[TRRC’s fate] a lot.”

This is the summed heart-perturbing and spirit-enervating statement of the widow of the late Basirou Barrow on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the 11 November executions of soldiers and officers of the now re-baptized Gambia Armed Forces.

These lamentations coupled with the pent-up apprehension in many victims evince the overwhelming need for the Barrow government to rise up to the occasion vis-à-vis the TRRC. It will not only constitute a disservice to the victims if the TRRC should crash but failure will also deal a blow to the majority of Gambian voters, who in 2016, went down to the polls with the hope of starting on a clean slate.

If indeed the much-talked about but now widely-criticised Security Sector Reform, the Janneh and Constitutional Review commissions are any barometre to gauge the progress of our reform process, it may be confidently said that we are way off the mark.

And, should we allow TRRC’s opponents to say with glee that the entire truth-telling exercise was a lavish and wasteful spending of tax-payers’ money? Even though the previous commissions left much to desire, this one, the TRRC, must succeed as it is the strongest pillar in our transitional justice process.