TRRC lays guidelines to prevent another brutal witch-hunt

Feb 14, 2022, 12:59 PM | Article By: Ali Jaw

The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), in its report submitted to the Barrow administration, laid concrete recommendations and guidelines in order to safeguard the Gambian society from another witch-hunt like that of exiled dictator Jammeh.

“The witch hunt exercise brought out to the open an entrenched belief in the notion of witchcraft, witches and wizards resulting in the stigmatization and discrimination against victims.”

Therefore, the Commission has recommended that “consideration be given to passing of legislation to criminalise labelling individuals as witches because of the societal stigma attached to it.

 “Training of security personnel to be able to know and appreciate the negative impact of witchcraft in society and how damaging it is to persons being accused of being witches/ wizards has also been recommended.”

“The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE) and Civil Society Organizations engage in advocacy and awareness programs to sensitize the public and local communities to change the mindset and attitudes regarding the stigma attached to witchcraft so as to remove negative impacts against persons accused of being witches, wizards and witchcraft.”

The commission has also suggested that guidelines be provided to prevent the security forces, which were among the most effective tools Jammeh and his unruly cohorts used to carry out the exercises, from being used to carry out unlawful orders such as the perpetration of witch-hunting exercises.

In its bid to prevent another incidence of such, the Commission has also recommend Ensa Badjie and Omar Jawo be banned from serving in the security services or holding any public office in the civil service or government in general.

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