EU & co hail TRRC as they oppose Jammeh’s return

Mar 31, 2021, 11:33 AM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent

Foreign partners who were extremely instrumental in supporting The Gambia during both its transitional period as well as after the departure of former dictator Yahya Jammeh have commended the ‘‘transparent and diligent work’’ of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). However, they are extremely cautious over ‘‘sinister efforts to undermine the core process of the Commission.’’  

Further emphasising such fears, in a message seen by this correspondent, human rights advocates in Europe equally expressed similar ‘‘mistrust of the former dictator’s return.’’ They acknowledged that Essa Faal and his team are doing an excellent job and following the revelations at the TRRC, many are ‘‘shocked and traumatised over what happened in The Gambia’’.  

Thus, relying on international jurisprudence, they intend to sue the former dictator and his cohorts as a ‘‘deterrent against gross human rights violation’’ rather than encouraging an ‘‘irrational comeback.’’  

A senior European official who was among those who pursued financial and political support for Banjul widely covered by The Point said: ‘‘We are aware of the alleged tactics and destabilising plans of the former Gambian dictator to return through secret and clandestine negotiations…it would be disastrous.’’  

Further expressing disapproval over such moves, the official added: ‘‘Those taking part in the mischievous arrangement for his comeback will shun the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right also known as the Banjul Charter…there is no doubt that they will let-down the nation, future generation as well as partners and allies.’’  

The Banjul Charter is an international human rights instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African continent and thus legally binding by the signatories.

The French media also suggested that even President Alpha Conde of Guinea, a personal friend of Jammeh who ‘‘protected his pal until the last minute of his departure'' now has a second thought,

83-year-old Conde had earlier claimed that the Gambian dictator deserved his support because he was a ‘‘former President of an African country but changed his mind following gruesome revelations.’’  

Interestingly, Conde made a U-turn (turn-about) insisting that ‘‘Africa is no longer a Trade Union of Head of States protecting each other anyhow…’’  

Notwithstanding, the official who supported the country on high level cooperation also said that he and many others are ‘‘extremely disappointed that some people should even envisage taking part in such a backroom deal…while people are still grieving the unbelievable extent of human rights violations against Gambians and non Gambians.’’   

However, the official could not confirm if further action is considered for those reportedly involved in the arrangement in favour of the former dictator, but emphasised that the current Gambian government is ‘‘legally obliged to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens.''

Thus, he stressed further: ''We trust that chaos, lawlessness and division will not be allowed to recur in The Gambia…Our concerns will be communicated accordingly’’.  

The Point was also able to uncover that Yahya Jammeh’s return was ‘‘vigorously opposed’’ by the UN, AU and ECOWAS and that two un-named ECOWAS countries who are also active in its current peace keeping mission recently protested against any deal. 

Leaders of the two countries reportedly objected that ‘‘for the sake of sub regional stability, insecurity and brutality cannot be brushed under the carpet in the name of national reconciliation…’’.

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