By Lamin Cham
The United States Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya will arrive in The Gambia next week for a short visit. During her visit, Under Secretary Zeya will hold discussions with Gambian authorities and other stakeholders on the following topics: President Biden’s commitment to Africa and the Biden administration’s Africa Strategy, The Gambia’s progress in building a democratic society, Gambia’s progress on transitional justice and its plans to create a hybrid court with Ecowas. She will also launch the Improving Access to Justice in The Gambia project.
The visiting top US official will meet President Barrow, the Minister of Justice, civil society and Jammeh-era victims’ groups.
The Improve Access to Justice in the Gambia (IAJ) project will be realised through four mutually reinforcing objectives: the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) provides timely, quality training on contemporary legal and administrative issues to justice sector actors; magistrates, judges and prosecutors dispense justice, in line with international standards; commissioners, prosecutors and judges work together to increase access to justice for victims of crimes in The Gambia and citizens of The Gambia, particularly women and vulnerable groups in targeted rural divisions, understand their rights and where to seek legal assistance. The project will be implemented between January 2023 and January 2025.
It is designed by the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) is an intergovernmental organisation, with observer status at the UN, upon request from the United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).