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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Victims tell new AG to make prosecuting Jammeh top priority

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By Omar Bah

The chairperson of the Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violation has urged the new attorney general, Dawda Jallow, to make bringing former president Yahya Jammeh and his cohort of human rights violators, to justice his top priority.

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Sheriff Kijera told The Standard on Saturday: “As we wish the AG good luck in his position, we want to remind him that prosecuting former president Jammeh should be non-negotiable on his part. We will not accept anything other than seeing Jammeh in court. We know it is election year next year and we don’t want to see our new AG to be used as a political tool to appease APRC or Jammeh sympathisers. We know politicians and their intentions. He should not allow himself to be used to satisfy a political agenda. I am not alleging that the government is planning to do so, but we are mindful and being cautious about such eventualities as we enter the 2021 presidential election year.”

He added: “We trust that he is a man of integrity. We are in discussions for post-TRRC prosecutions and we are exploring the alternative where Jammeh and his cohorts could be tried. Discussions are underway to see what are the best options to try Yahya Jammeh, whether here or at the regional courts. Discussions are at an advanced stage. I am sure Jammeh and all those responsible for human rights violations will have their day in court one day.”

Baa’s resignation
He said the resignation of Abubacarr Tambadou “is quite unfortunate and shocking for the entire country more especially for the victims’ community”. “Baa is the architect of The Gambia’s transitional justice projects and his departure will leave a huge vacuum depending on his successor but we should be prepared for such circumstances as a country.”

Kijera said Tambadou “was not only a strong advocate to bring Jammeh to justice, but quite passionate about justice for victims of human rights violation and his departure is a serious blow”.

“I hope the president did make the right decision in appointing Mr [Dawda] Jallow. I am not familiar with him but I believe he must have been following the proceedings of the TRRC and the transitional justice process. We hope he will not be used as a political tool but instead will see the best interest of the country to make sure that the transitional justice process is delivered,” he added.

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