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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Victims warn Barrow against politicising TRRC recommendations

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By Omar Bah

The chairman of the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations has warned President Adama Barrow and his government against politicising the TRRC recommendations.

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Sheriff Kijera told The Standard yesterday that the Gambian leader will be committing a dangerous mistake “if he attempts to twist the TRRC recommendations to favour APRC for political gains. If they are thinking along those lines, they are warned to be mindful. We are watching.”

Kijera stated: “Victims are getting increasingly worried that there might not be that political will from the executive given that the TRRC’s mandate is coming to end at a time when the next presidential election is within touching distance. We are worried the executive might start to appease and lobby for APRC sympathisers.

“We are very concerned, especially with the recent appointments of Yahya Jammeh enablers back into the system – appointments that could be geared towards gathering sympathisers from the APRC. We are also sceptical about the outcome of the truth commission. We are sceptical about whether the TRRC recommendations will be fully implemented by the government especially the Office of the President,” he added.
He said victims are very satisfied with the work of the TRRC and that the Jammeh2Justice campaign will continue to put pressure on government to ensure that the TRRC recommendations are fully implemented.

“Victims are very much confident that with the launch of the J2J campaign which is an international campaign to bring Jammeh to justice, there will be no safe haven for fugitives who commit international crimes and torture,” he added.

Post-TRRC consultations
Mr Kijera disclosed that the Victims Centre and the global Jammeh2Justice movement will engage the victim community to seek their opinion on the post-TRRC prosecutions next week.

“We will be looking at compressive experiences from other countries, particularly in Africa – key elements on where prosecutions should be carried out, security, legal and capacity challenges of prosecutions in The Gambia and possible alternatives. We will look at a wider scope of how post TRRC prosecutions are going to be implemented. We want to see that reparations are fully implemented, victims fully compensated and their dignity restored and those that bore greatest responsibility face justice,” he noted.

Janneh Commission
Kijera said the Minister of Justice should tell Gambians how the assets of the former president forfeited after the Janneh Commission were disposed and how the transaction officer facilitating the sale and disposal of the assets was chosen and the value of the assets.

“The government should tell us who were the buyers of the assets. It is very important to determine and know whether senior government officials and their relatives were part of the people who acquired those assets,” he said.

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