By Mafugi Ceesay
Chairperson of the Gambia Centre of Victims of Human Rights Violation has renewed his criticism of the APRC.“I appeal to the TRRC to include the banning of the APRC in their recommendations. The party always reminds us of the heinous crimes perpetuated against Gambians. The fact that they also refused to apologize or show any remorse for the crimes committed under their tenure in office we felt they should be banned,” Sheriff Kijera said.
He said the former ruling party has demonstrated that APRC is “a party run by criminals who do not want to show any remorse for their heinous crimes”.
Kijera said if the APRC were really serious, the party would have already disassociated itself from Jammeh.
Mr Kijera has also issued a strong warning that lack of new constitution will complicate victims’ quest for justice.
“The 1997 constitution poses a bigger problem for the implementation of the TRRC recommendations which does not have command responsibility. But with a progressive new constitution, victims are assured of justice,” he told The Standard.
This, he added, is why “we are trying to find a consensus on how to bring the draft constitution to the assembly with the service of IDEA to see how to deal with the contentious issues and make an understanding that this is a Gambian issue and not a party political interest or individual.”
On the contentious retroactive clause, Kijera said he personally believes it is “unfair to have the retroactive clause in the constitution. It is the height of injustice”.
“I believe the political parties should take out the retroactive clause for us to have a new constitution to avoid going to election with the 1997 constitution,” he added.
He said it would be risky to conduct the December polls under the 1997 constitution which doesn’t provide for a two term limit.
“We are urging all political parties to put Gambia first. Let them put their political differences aside and allow the new constitution to pass. It will be unfair to the victims if we had to go to election without a new constitution,” Kijera contended.