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Thursday, December 9, 2021

‘TRRC must not exonerate APRC as an enabler of Jammeh’

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By Omar Bah

The spokesperson of the United Democratic Party has told the TRRC not to exonerate the APRC party as an enabler of Jammeh in its final recommendations.

The truth commission completed its public hearings two weeks ago and currently preparing its final report which will contain its findings and recommendations. That report will be submitted to the president in July.

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The victims of Jammeh have long demanded for the proscription of the APRC party which is seen as an enabler of Jammeh.

Speaking in a Standard exclusive, Almamy Taal asserted: “A dictatorship cannot dare proceed without associates and enablers and my first point of concern about the TRRC process is that it seems to focus more on the crimes and the misgovernance that was going on and everything seems to lead back to the dictator. But there were the military Junglers and an administrative state that enabled dictatorship to strive.

“What were the factors and the institutions that enabled Jammeh to stay in power and apparently, win election after election for 22 years? For me, the TRRC should have interrogated what was the responsibility of the political party that Jammeh has created to aide and abet the dictatorship. Even during the impasse, the same party had a majority in parliament and they were doing things legally and constitutionally to make sure that Jammeh doesn’t go anywhere. These are all issues that I believe the TRRC should have interrogated sufficiently.”

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However, he said he would not recommend banning the party.

“What I want is for the TRRC to make sure that the APRC is not absolved of responsibility as a political operative that provided Jammeh the political platform to grant him legitimacy to even contest elections.”

Taal said the APRC leaders continue to deny the atrocities of Jammeh and are now floating the idea of coalition talks to form the next government.

“That is an insult to the victims and I think the TRRC should address these things. If they cannot agree with people they should not be seen provoking people. If the TRRC is to achieve anything tangible, this kind of leadership should not have the opportunity to lead this country again. It is up to Gambians to not entertain this nonsense coming from the leadership of the APRC again.”

He said the UDP is worried that even before the TRRC concluded its recommendations “APRC executive members are going to State House to try to negotiate the return of Jammeh”. 

Reparations

The former high court judge said the TRRC’s reparations framework should be based on some of the harrowing and sensitive testimonies to determine what will be a fair compensation for victims.

“We are expecting that not only are the victims going to be properly compensated but the institutions or political parties like the UDP which was prosecuted are given some kind of reparation and cleansing of its records especially those individuals who have been incarcerated and tortured as a result of that,” he said.

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