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Gov’t to establish Commission of Enquiry into those disappeared without trace

Feb 20, 2017, 11:31 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

President Adama Barrow has said his government through the Attorney General and Minister of Justice will establish a commission that would conduct an inquiry into those that were arrested and disappeared without trace.

He also gave an order for those arrested and detained without trial to be released.

The President was addressing the nation during his inauguration and the celebration of Gambia’s 52nd independence anniversary, held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

President Barrow said orders have already been given for all those detained without trial to be released.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice would receive information regarding all those who were arrested without being traced, and an appropriate commission will be established to conduct enquiries on their disappearance.

The national human rights commission will be established to complement the initiative of the AG.

“The government will undertake constitutional and legal reforms, which will be highlighted in my first address to the National Assembly which intends to reform to enforce constitutional provisions that are intended to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.”

President Barrow added that the National Council for Civic Education, will be provided with facilities to conduct civic education to promote national reconciliation, in collaboration with other organizations that are set to promote national unity and reconciliation. 

President Barrow further said the judiciary would receive adequate support in terms of personnel and independence, to deliver justice without fear or favour.

He said: “Gambia during the impasse knows what solidarity means. Senegal has proven to be a friend in the time of needs. The people of Senegal helped the people who fled and government hosted me as President-elect and worked hand in glove with ECOWAS, the AU, the UN, the international community, in general, to ensure that the verdict of the Gambian people is not violated.

“In this regard, my first trip as a head of state will be to Senegal so that we could discuss and conclude on matters such as the Senegambia Bridge, our common borders, the status of the Senegal-Gambia secretariat and other outstanding issues.”

President Barrow also said the Ministry of Information and Communication and Infrastructure would be given support to sustain its local area network.

This, he went on, would make it possible for the government to maintain the regional communications centres and provide them with the necessary ICT services.

The new regional communications centres would create better communications and cooperation between companies and institutions, he continued.

 “The media both public and private will enjoy freedom of disseminating divergent views and descending opinions, as required by the constitution,” he said, adding that the media laws shall be reviewed and a code of conduct for responsible journalism promoted.

“This will include re-orientation of state media to keep up its public service responsibilities. Civil service reforms will be undertaken,” he continued.

“The Ministry of Planning and Good Governance is to be established to facilitate and monitor the development and implementation of the blueprint for socioeconomic development.

“The provision of quality social services is the fundamental objective of the government under my presidency.

“Regional administration will be done by public servants, and not political appointees. The grading structures of the civil service will be reviewed, and pensioners also will benefit from the reforms.”

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