attorney general and minister of Justice, Abubacarr M. Tambadou, recently
received at his office the first publication of the The Point Newspaper and
ANEKED Digest on Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).
The Digest seeks to widen the circle of stakeholders in the transitional justice process in The Gambia by providing Gambians and interested international actors, a constructive recount of each session, presenting the witnesses and listing the names of the persons adversely mentioned and as the case may be their current position within state, regional or international institutions.
Presenting the 30 pages of the TRRC Digest to Minister Tambadou, Baba Hydara, the co-publisher of The Point spoke on the significance of the Digest to Gambians, adding that the idea of the Digest was to avail Gambians the opportunity to be able to read the testimonies of TRRC witnesses and simply understand them.
Mr. Hydara added that there’re certain communities that didn’t know what is happening at the TRRC, saying that’s why they are focusing more on the translation aspect by using the community radios so that people in the remote areas would know what is happening.
“As far as the TRRC is concerned, we will continue to provide the Digest so that we can provide a constructive recount of each session of the witnesses’ testimonies.”
Sira Ndow, from ANEKED, said in that process, nothing is further from the truth. “The truth has to come first and we will make sure that continues,” she said.
The TRRC, she went on, is doing its part by ensuring that there is live coverage which has never been anywhere where TRRC was established. “As professionals we can’t watch the entire TRRC witnesses testimonies. So what we felt was to summarize the essential elements of what have been discussed.”
“Therefore, we went through witnesses’ testimonies and looked at the essential elements they talked about and put it together so that we can give opportunity to the people to get what is going around the country.”
She indicated that there’re people that never heard of TRRC. “QTV, GRTS among others are reaching out to the entire country which is not the problem. However, the problem is the language. So with the Digest, we can translate the testimonies of the witnesses in their own local language so that people can reconcile,” she added.
Justice minister Abubacarr M. Tambedou, commended the initiators for coming out with such kind of laudable initiative. “It’s one of the things I have in mind to have a simultaneous archiving of the proceedings of the TRRC,” he pointed out. “From experience, it will be difficult to archive after the sittings.”
The minister acknowledged that the Digest is coming at a time when they need the reference of archiving.
“It’s important for Gambians to know the truth and also how we allowed it happen in the past. What is also significant is that TRRC is doing what country that had TRRC never did,” while expressing surprise that certain communities in the country are not aware of TRRC.