By Omar Bah
Baba Galleh Jallow, the executive secretary of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission has said the commission will soon start giving out monetary reparations.
“Monetary reparations will be rolled out as soon as the TRRC Reparations Rules and Regulations are finalized and gazetted by the government. The process is in the final stages of formulation at the Commission level which has already adopted a reparations policy,” he told The Standard on Monday.
The truth commission is mandated to investigate human rights violations under former president Yahya Jammeh from 1994 to 2017. The commission is also mandated to give reparations to deserving victims.
The Gambia government has already disbursed D50 million to support its reparations process.
But Jallow admitted the D50 million is too small. “We expect the government to provide more at some point as the Minister of Justice has intimated when they gave the D50 million.”
However according to Dr Jallow, interim reparations are ongoing with the provision of medical support, employment opportunities, livelihood support, and educational opportunities for young victims.
Dr Jallow said the Commission hopes to resume hearings “as per our schedule announced at the end of the last session, that is, first week of June 2020. However, that would depend on whether the State of Emergency is lifted or whether conditions regarding the corona virus permit resumption at that date.”
Ebou Jallow and Samsudeen Sarr
Asked why Ebou Jallow and Samsudeen Sarr have not been called to the TRRC, Jallow replied: “The Commission calls witnesses it considers useful to its investigations, and not necessarily witnesses who want to testify. If we feel the persons you mentioned will be useful witnesses, they will be called. Otherwise they will not be called. We are not obliged to call any witness unless we are convinced they add value to our investigations.”