Press release – The United States government’s Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching a 10-month Rapid Response initiative to make immediate progress on prosecutions of alleged crimes committed under the Jammeh regime.
The focus will be on setting up a new Special Prosecutor’s Office for crimes covered by domestic laws while linking this work to a future hybrid or internationalised court with jurisdiction over international crimes.
The Rapid Response initiative will support the Ministry of Justice on three fronts. First, the initiative will support the drafting of legislation to establish a Special Prosecutor’s Office. Second, the initiative will support the design of a hybrid or internationalised court in collaboration with Ecowas that would have jurisdiction over international crimes. Finally, the initiative will support public sensitisation of the public and political actors on the roles and responsibilities of transitional justice institutions.
In November 2021, the Gambian Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission’s report found that former president Yahya Jammeh and his supporters were guilty of crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations. Since the release of the report, The Gambia has grappled with how to approach prosecutions of Jammeh-era crimes in part due to a lack of resources. The Rapid Response initiative is expected to alleviate this problem and accelerate processes leading to prosecutions.