CSOs demand transparency to avoid chaotic state on TRRC recommendations

Jul 5, 2021, 11:42 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

The Civil Society Associations (CSOs) of The Gambia, on Friday convened a press conference and demanded inclusive, consultative and transparency in order to avoid division and a chaotic state on the implementation of the upcoming TRRC’s recommendations by the government, which is expected to be handed over to President Adama Barrow on 12 July 2021.

The statement that was read by John Charles Njie, chairman of TANGO, stated that when the TRRC submits its final report including the recommendations to the president, it is the government that bears the primary responsibility to implement the recommendations contained therein. He said their role as CSOs is to support the government to effectively implement those recommendations within a shortest possible time.

“We are of the view that the implementation of the recommendations is an urgent national issue that is necessary to not only ensure justice and accountability but to help reconcile, unify the country, and move together towards the common goal.”

He added that the government including everyone, should state that the recommendations are not intended to divide, revenge, witch hunt or to cause chaos in the country, while urging Gambians to recognise and accept the truth and as well prepare to help correct the mistakes of the past.

“Research has shown that societies that went through authoritarian rule or conflict and fail to address the vestiges of the past in full are bound to repeat the same mistakes with far worse consequences. This was why a genocide took place in Rwanda in 1994, simply because of past genocides and dictatorships were not addressed fully. Similarly, the incessant xenophobic attacks and deadly confrontations that occasionally erupted between the whites and blacks in South Africa are a consequences of the failure to fully address the ruins of apartheid which continues to widen the social, economic and power gaps in that country. The Gambia has enough lessons to learn from and move forward.”

Njie said they have developed a comprehensive guide; their engagements on the process, while adding that it is intended to make the civil society a lead and central player by offering all support to the government and society to move the country forward in peace and united in one purpose.

He thanked the government for establishing the TRRC and urged President Adama Barrow to act on the recommendations with urgency on receipt of the final report.