a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude
surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in
more than 35 countries in Africa recently conducted their round 7 findings on
Gambians’ perception on emigration and the work of TRRC, CRC and ECOMIG at a
ceremony held at the UTG faculty of law auditorium at MDI.
Project manager Daniel Armah-Attoh said Afrobarometer findings is used to know Gambian citizens’ perception on TRRC, migration, electoral and security sector reforms using different methods.
He said during the survey, they conducted face-to-face interviews with citizens in clear languages that they understand, saying one of their achievements was giving ordinary Africans voice to participate in political and policy making processes.
Presenting the survey findings, Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, a political science lecturer at the University of The Gambia explained that 28% of Gambia’s population said their families have suffered at least one human right abuse during former President Yahya Jammeh’s regime. “Fewer than half of Gambians said they trust TRRC while 29% say they don’t know whether or not they should trust the Commission,” he said.
According to Dr. Ceesay, citizens were also asked about the outcome they expect from TRRC work which he said many said they are expecting peace, national reconciliation, forgiveness and healing.
He said the weak trust in TRRC may reflect the perceived political nature of the Commission, saying “the low trust in the Commission and the fact that three in ten citizens are not sure they trust the TRRC can be linked to citizens’ unawareness of the Commission’s mandate.”
Dr. Ceesay said Gambians expect TRRC to reconcile the country while ensuring that justice is served.
Madi Jobarteh, a panelist at the event said the survey gives good direction, validated lot of concerns and provided good insight on what the TRRC needs to focus on.
He urged TRRC to build trust in Gambians for them to accept it, saying they should be stable as he feels the findings are significant because they have done a lot of work. “TRRC is not just a Commission but a government that gives support to the citizens to testify.”