Tambadou, the attorney general and minister of Justice said former President
Yahya Jammeh was a central pillar in infrastructure of terror and human rights
abuses meted on ordinary Gambians and others during his regime.
“It has become increasingly apparent to the government, based on the revelation at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) over the past one year that former President Jammeh was a central pillar in infrastructure of terror and human rights abuses during his leadership.”
Consequently, he said, the government deems it most fitting those reparations for his victims should be granted directly from his illegal wealth and assets, hence the payment of D50 million from the proceeds of sales of his assets.
The gov’t of The Gambia established the TRRC with a view to investigating human rights violations and abuses committed between July 1994 and January 2017 during Ex-President Jammeh’s government in order to foster social cohesion and encourage national reconciliation among Gambians.
It seeks to address impunity and also to recognise the rights and dignity of victims through the provision of appropriate reparations.
The recovery efforts following the Janneh Commission’s recommendation, he explained, are on-going. “We continue to sell the assets of former President Jammeh with regard to the commission’s recommendation. However, that is not going to happen very quickly because ex-President Jammeh has about 281 properties.”
The D50 million, he explained, is part of the proceeds of sold assets belonging to ex-President Jammeh. “Therefore, as he was the central pillar of the infrastructure of terror under his leadership, he should pay from his pocket and start the reparations to the victims.”
“We are getting lot of international support with regard to Jammeh’s assets that are outside the country. We are working with the authorities in the United States government and they are very helpful.”
Sheriff Kijera, the chairman of the Victims Centre said: “The task to establish the TRRC was quite a heavy undertaking with the aim of helping prevent the reoccurrence of past human right violations; ending impunity and bringing to justice those that bear the greatest responsibility of crimes committed and make reparations to victims.”
Testimonies by witnesses and alleged perpetrators that are broadcast on television, he said continue to attract overwhelming public attention.
“The TRRC has become a national ownership, the truth uncovered in our dark history. Before you assume, know the fact and before you judge, understand why, because the rule of law should serve all,” he stated, saying, “today’s ceremony affirms government’s commitment to fulfilling its obligation towards reparations of victims. It is another milestone achievement and vote of confidence to the mandate of the TRRC.”
“With this commitment and responsibility taken by The Gambia government, the victims are well assured that the reparations are a serious business for the TRRC.”