#Editorial

On TRRC report

Dec 30, 2021, 11:38 AM

On Friday 24th December, The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) made its final report public,  which cataloged rights abuses, further recommending prosecution of officials found wanting in the worst atrocities committed from 1994 to 2017.

The TRRC was established to investigate crimes committed in The Gambia under the leadership of Jammeh from 1994 to 2017.

The report resulted in a three-year-long investigation during which the commissions heard testimonies from witnesses on different issues.

However, the report found that former president, Yahya Jammeh alongside his AFPRC junta members, NIA officials and other senior government officials, was responsible some of the atrocities committed during the almost 22-year period.

The day was long anticipated by Jammeh victims, some of whom cannot wait to see the full implementation of this report.

What is even worth mentioning is that almost 400 witnesses’ testimonies were collected ranging from minor to worst atrocities ever imagined. The evidence adduced during the public hearings is enough to conclude that The Gambia had indeed gone through the darkest chapter in its history.

From but not limited to unlawful killing, sexual violence, torture, forced disappearance, persecutions including through arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions, rape and castration, inhuman and degrading treatment, witch hunt exercise, fake HIV/AIDS treatment and general and widespread abuse of public office just to name a few. And these atrocities were meted out to victims some of whom are foreign nationals.

To the TRRC team and panel of commissioners, investigators and even the long list of witnesses, we say a big thank you for your dedication and commitment in bringing about this report.

To the witnesses, we say a big ‘thank you’. For some despite the stigma and threats, they were about to come out plainly and narrate their ordeals.

We therefore call on President Barrow after a thorough review of the report to act swiftly and ensure that justice is served.

Atrocities committed in The Gambia during the period cannot be left to idle under the carpet just like that.

Yes, reconciliations are vital for harmonious living in a community. But truth must be told first and then people can reconcile and forgive one another. But in cases of worst atrocities, the law must take its course to deter others.

Only through prosecution of worst atrocities can some victims find comfort and forge ahead as a nation healing from its past wounds.

We therefore urge the government that once the White Paper is finalised, time is not wasted in the immediate prosecution of those adversely mentioned. 

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