can be no genuine reconciliation in The Gambia without truth; the truth of
human rights violation must be told and the perpetrators known, said Andrew
Chigovera, chairperson of African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
(ACDHRS) Governing Council.
must be told and heard, it may not be pleasant but it is part of the healing
process,” he said on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of a two-day consultative
workshop on The Gambia government-proposed Truth, Reconciliation and
Reparations Commission (TRRC).
workshop at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi was organised by the African
Centre in collaboration with the Gender Action Team (GAT) and funded by Urgent
Action Fund (UAF-Kenya).
consultation was meant to familiarise participants, especially women and youth,
as representatives of state and non-state stakeholders, with the transitional
Chigovera said it is the responsibility of each and every one to ensure that
The Gambia’s young democracy is nurtured and sustained.
this effect, he said, there is a need to sensitise women and youth, especially
girls, to effectively engage with the TRRC processes since the survivors and or
survivors’ families include women.
Tabu Sarr of TANGO, on behalf of GAT, said the consultation on the TRRC would
not only inform and educate the masses on sustainable peace but would also
promote broad-based partnership to ensure lasting engagement and participation.
“This pattern of close cooperation creates
sustainability, ensuring continuity in the process of achieving peaceful
cohesion and forgiveness while justice is being served alongside,” she said.
acting vice president, who is also the minister of women’s affairs, Fatoumatta
Jallow-Tambajang, said during civil unrests, armed conflicts or wars, women and
children suffer the most.
violence erupted during The Gambia’s political impasse, women and children
especially girls would have suffered the most, she said.
those that sought temporary shelter within the country and those that went into
Senegal and Guinea Bissau were women and children,” she said.
African Centre is a regional organisation initially set up by an Act of
Parliament of The Gambia in 1989 though the Act was repealed in 1995 following
the 1994 military coup.