‘Prosecution on human right violations awaits Jammeh’s return’

Jan 21, 2021, 11:45 AM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Sheriff Kijera, the chairman of Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Right Violations has said that if former President Yahya Jammeh returns to the country, he would face prosecutions on series of human rights allegations during his 22 years “brutal dictatorship.”

Mr. Kijera was speaking in an interview with The Point, in response to Fabakary Tombong Jatta’s statement that “nothing can stop Jammeh from returning” during an interview with Star FM on Monday.

Former President Yahya Jammeh seems to be preparing the ground for a return to The Gambia, after ceding power in 2017 after 22 years of authoritarian rule and went into self exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the interim party leader of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), had early stated that there is no law, power or idea that can hold former President Yahya Jammeh from returning to the country.

“Whenever he steps into the soil of this country, he will be subjected to the most serious of accountability. He is free to return as a citizen of the country but not as a free man. He has to face the law and the victims,” said Victims’ Center Chairman Sheriff Kijera.

He further said that the statement uttered by Fabakary Tombong Jammeh only meant to fool their supporters, adding that APRC as a party is losing a lot of support especially in the Fonis.

“We just returned from an outreach mission from the Fonis and we have seen that there is a see-change in the political sensibility of the people in the region,” he said, adding that “people have started to change and come to terms with the current realities of the state. So it is just a matter of time that we would see the end of APRC. APRC will be completely dysfunctional.”

Mr. Kijera said that the only stronghold APRC has is in the Fonis, and whenever they want to be on the public spotlight and the only thing they can fool Yahya Jammeh supporters is to tell them that Jammeh is coming, noting that but he (Jammeh) himself knows that he is not mad to come to the country.

He added that they as the victims of Yahya Jammeh, respect the mandate of the TRRC, the process of the transitional justice project.

“We are hearing the revelations (horrors of atrocities committed by Jammeh) in the ongoing TRRC. I’m sure there are ample evidences as far as the post TRRC prosecutions are concern. So Yahya Jammeh will be held accountable for the atrocities committed during the past 22 years of his brutal dictatorship,” he said.

According to him, the Victims’ Center as an institution is working with other international human right organisations to make sure that Jammeh faces the full force of the law by any means necessary.