By Omar Bah
The Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou has announced that government will give an initial D50 million to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission to pay reparations to victims of human rights violations of the former President Yahya Jammeh.
The money, according to Tambadou, was raised from funds recovered from the sale of former President Jammeh’s assets.
Disclosing this at a press conference yesterday, Tambadou said: “It has become increasingly apparent to the government based on revelations at the TRRC over the past one year that former President Yahya Jammeh was a central pillar of the terror and human rights abuses that were unleashed on ordinary Gambians and others under his leadership.
Consequently, the government deems it more fitting and just that reparations for his victims should be granted directly from his wealth and assets”.
The TRRC already began granting interim reparations to victims in the form of scholarship and treatment but are yet to start financial payments.
Minister Tambadou said one of the key mandates and peculiar future of the Gambia’s truth commission process is the granting of reparations to victims by the TRRC itself.
“In order to underscore the importance that the government attaches to these objectives the word reparation was included in the title of our truth commission making it the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Today almost one year into the TRRC public hearings, the government is fulfilling its promise to grant reparations to the victims of human rights violations and abuses within the mandate of the TRRC,” he added.
The chairman of the TRRC, Dr Lamin Sise said the money will contribute immensely in the healing and reconciliation process, adding that the victims are the people who suffered the most and they cannot be forgotten.
The payment of the D50 million to the TRRC was also praised by the Victims Center chair, Sheriff Kijera. He said it signals that the government is committed to the TRRC reparation process.