attorney general and minister of Justice has disclosed that the Truth
Reconciliation and Repatriations Commission will start its first sitting in
Aboubacarr Tambedou was speaking at a press conference held at the Justice Ministry conference hall on Monday.
The Justice Minister added that they have been engaged in a series of activities such as the provision of training for media practitioners on truth commission reporting, the process of nominations for appointment of commissioners at the TRRC has commenced, and that nominations of candidates in the Greater Banjul Area and the Diaspora have already been received.
“The parallel process for the regional nominations has now commenced and should be completed by the end of this week and next step is nominations from the Banjul area, the Diaspora and the regions would be compiled and the Ministry will review the full list and identify the 11 commissioners based on established criteria under the TRRC Act,” he said
He indicated that the shortlisted 11 commissioners together with the long list of nominees would be submitted to the transitional justice technical committee for review and comments, saying the technical committee includes members of civil society, government representatives, and representatives of the diplomatic community under the chair of the MOJ.
According to him, the president will then appoint the 11 commissioners in consultation with the list of organizations identified under the TRRC Act.
The Minister said that the members of the Constitutional Review Commission have been sworn-in and have started work in earnest, noting that they would be conducting their work independently and all questions about their activities should now be referred to them.
On Forensic Examinations
The Justice Minister stated that he received a team of forensic scientists with the support of Justice Rapid Response, an international NGO working in the area of international criminal justice. The forensic scientists, in cooperation with the Gambia Police Force forensic unit, he said, have conducted examinations on the human remains that were exhumed sometime last year including the presumed remains of Solo Sandeng.
Minister Tambedou mentioned that they issued advertisements for the position of commissioner to the National Human Rights Commission and they will be submitting the list of applicants to the selection panel made up of representatives of Tango, Gambia Bar Association, Gambia Federation of the Disabled, National Youth Council, Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia, and the Gambia Press Union in accordance with the NHRC Act.
He added that the selection panel shall shortlist 9 candidates for membership of the Commission and cause the shortlist of candidates to be published in the Gazette for 14 days for any possible objections.
About Criminal Justice Reform
Minister Tambedou noted that they have now secured assistance from the South Korean Government through the Korean International Cooperation Agency to support the criminal justice and prison reform process including criminal justice legislative reforms. This assistance, he added, would enable them conduct a comprehensive review of the criminal law and procedure with a view to adopting international best practices and repealing retrogressive laws.