By Omar Bah
The Gambia Action Party has called on the government to ignore calls for former president Yahya Jammeh’s extradition.
The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations had called on the government to start the process of requesting for the extradition of Jammeh and his cohorts accused of gross human rights violations.
An official at The Gambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had confirmed to The Standard that Banjul does not have an extradition treaty with Equatorial Guinea.
Some 392 witnesses appeared before the truth commission which said at least 214 murders occurred in The Gambia attributed to Jammeh and his agents in addition to enforced disappearances.
Despite all these revelations, the Gambia Action Party said the government should wait for the recommendations of the truth commission before starting any process of extraditing Jammeh.
“We are concerned about the unprecedented extradition plea made by the Chairman of Victims Centre over the affairs of the former president Yahya Jammeh. As a country waits for the recommendations of TRRC, we encourage the government to exercise patience to avoid going into any rush,” the party leader Musa Ousainou Yali Batchilly told The Standard.
Mr Batchilly said the government should however ensure that justice is served.
“But we encourage the government to avoid acting based on personal whims and caprices. We would also like to remind the individuals working towards Jammeh’s extradition that the TRRC was set up by an act of parliament, and all its affairs should be issued according to the laws of The Gambia but not on personal grounds or agendas,” he said.
He said all Gambians are victims of Jammeh in one way or the other as demonstrated by witnesses at the TRRC.
“GAP’s stance for justice without delay is unquestionable and we are calling on all the victims to maintain swift access to peace without further action that will scathe or undermine our collective efforts for more than half a century. All in all, the government has to play pivotal roles in ensuring justice and restore hope and dignity among the victims as well as the nation in general,” he added.
The TRRC, he added, has “a lot to offer for the citizens of the Gambia and people should not interfere with their work or influence any outcome that may likely intrude on our peaceful coexistence”.
“We urge the government and officials of TRRC to extend the next challenge to reconciliation and reparation processes,” he said.
He said The Gambia always prevails even when there’s “no way forward through our commonalities guided by the respect that binds us together. Even during the most difficult periods that threatened our social cohesion, we managed to prevail. We urge everyone to value and uphold that root,” he urged.