chairman of Gambia Center of Victims for Human Rights Violations (GCVHRV) has
lamented that the government of The Gambia is not taking up its responsibility,
saying The Gambia cannot support its victims by depending entirely on foreign
Sheriff Kijera was speaking on Tuesday during a policy dialogue organised by TANGO on the topic: Restoring the Human Rights and Dignity of Victims: Empowering Victims and Survivors Within the TRRC.
He acknowledged that the government should take up the responsibility as demonstrated in the setting up the Truth and Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) and not to leave it in the hands of UNDP or other international organisations to provide funding for the selection of commissioners for the TRRC.
“The nomination of commissioners in the TRRC should be the responsibility of government. Whatever process the government is in they always have to hold on a basket and start begging for funds throughout the whole world,” he said.
The Gambia, he went on, cannot continue to depend on foreign aid to provide justice for its people, suggesting that they should setup the pace so that others can come and help them.
He made reference to the D80 million budget allocated to Ministry of Justice and D900 million budget for the Office of The President, adding that people need to look at these things as far as allocation of budgets are concern
“The youths constitute 60% of The Gambian population and the budget allocated for the youths, which goes with sports amounts to D68 million. What can this budget do for the youth of this country? This will rather make more youths to continue taking the dangerous Mediterranean route”.
Thus, he called on the government to focus more on youths by increasing their budgetary allocations.
The government, he added, is leaving on tax payers’ money and that money should be utilised effectively, wisely to educate, develop and create employment for the citizens.
He explained that victims have been left alone for a long time now, acknowledging that the change in the country came from the victims because each and every Gambian is a victim of the system be it directly or indirectly.
Kijera noted that self-critical does not necessarily mean one is an opposition, arguing that they have to criticize their own development agendas and programmes so as to make things go right.
He maintained that as part of development one must accept to be criticized so that effective and meaningful development can take place.