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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Letters to the Editor

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When will the TRRC change tact?

Dear editor,

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Another day and another incredulous waste of time and public money at the TRRC from another uncalled for witness.
I don’t know why the lead counsel keeps asking the witnesses about the nonsense order that Chongan gave to his men – shoot on sight the mutineer soldiers?
The lead counsel seems to be of the impression that Chongan’s daft orders should have been adhered to.

Why didn’t Chongan stay with his men to execute his orders?
Don’t the lead counsel to the Commission understand that soldiers fight for a valid reason?
That stupid orders do not take soldiers to fight.
That the Jawara government was not worth fighting for and/or losing your life over.
The lead counsel finally managed to tell today’s witness that they are trying to find out the reasons that led to the 1994 military takeover.

I think Kanteh gave a vivid picture of the reasons that led to the July 22nd 1994 military takeover which can be summed up as the failure of leadership of the Jawara government.
Why in heavens name did Jawara make Nigerians commanders of The Gambia Armed Forces?
The Jawara government was responsible for its own down fall.
It’s very clear from the testimonies of the witnesses so far that the national army and the police force were led by undeserved Gambian men.

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As was the prevalent norm in the Jawara days, the army just like most of the other sectors of The Gambian public life was dotted with nepotism and incompetence.
I don’t know which government in its right mind will replace all the senior officers of its police force with men from another force that has been amalgamated into the police force.
If it might be of any help to the commission, the reason for the 1994 military takeover was due to the failure of leadership from president Jawara.

No soldier or security personnel will put his life at risk to protect a government that is overwhelmingly seen to be self serving, incompetent, corrupt and nepotistic.
Kambi hit the nail on the head in his closing remarks to the commission yesterday.
That the commission should have started calling people who are accused of having committed crimes against Gambians; let them confess to their crimes and ask for forgiveness.

Then the Commission can call in the victims to facilitate reconciliation.
That would have been a better strategy to conduct the TRRC.
I don’t know how can the commission start hearing from the victims without putting the crimes alleged to have been committed to the perpetrators?
The commission is meant to be a truth and reconciliation platform but not a court of law.
So far all that I can piece together is the commission trying to condemn the 1994 military takeover and blaming the junior officers for not carrying out Chongan’s orders.
That’s an exercise in futility.

I don’t know if the strategy is deliberate from the commission to keep the gravy train running for as long as possible.
We are about to enter into the third week of the commission and neither truth nor reconciliation has begun.
The stories and counter stories are captivating to listen to but that is not why the TRRC has been set up for.

When will the commission change its tact?
Instead of healing old wounds and bringing people together, the TRRC is setting people against one another.
The strategy of the TRRC in trying to establish truth and reconciliation is not out of the woods yet.

Yusupha Bojang

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