Victims concern over delay in submission  of TRRC report

Oct 18, 2021, 12:31 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

September 30th was the day set aside for commissioners of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) to submit the Commission’s final report and recommendations to President Barrow.

However, this could not materialise as the commission requested another additional time to enable them complete the entire report and recommendations.

Meanwhile, the Victims’ Centre said the victim community is concerned with the continuous delay in the submission of the final TRRC report and recommendations. The Centre has also issued five-point demands, among them is for the final TRRC recommendations to be submitted to the president as soon as possible.

On Saturday, hundreds of people thronged the street of Kairaba Avenue and embarked on the ‘Never Again Solidarity March and demanded the full implementation of TRRC recommendations.

The protesters marched with placards and banners with distinct inscriptions such as: “No to Impunity and No More Injustice; “We Need Justice and Justice before Reconciliation among others.

Sheriff Kijera, the chairman of The Gambia Centre for Victims’ of Human Rights Violation, said: “Many ordinary citizens, members of civil society including journalists as well as government officials were abducted, arrested, illegally detained and imprisoned. Intimidation was used to suppress dissent and preserve the president’s grip on power. Other human rights violations concerns including corruption and embezzlements of public funds, land or property expropriation, forced labour, witch hunting and fake HIV treatment that resulted to some deaths and other complications among people living with HIV.”

The victim community, he added, highly welcome the participation of civil society organisations for coming up with a roadmap to ensure the timely implementation and monitoring of the TRRC recommendations by the government.

The Victims’ Centre on behalf of victims, Kijera said, is demanding accountability for all those who bear the greatest responsibility for human rights violations committed during Jammeh’s 22 years’ dictatorship, the government to set-up an independent body responsible for the review of TRRC reparations guideline and regulations in order to adequately provide reparations to victims.

“The Victims’ Centre also wants the government to work closely with victim-led associations to establish a national monument to remember and honour victims of human rights violations and for the government to issue a public apology to enhance reconciliation and healings.”

John Charles Njie, the chairman of the country’s CSOs, said: “Barely three years ago, a truth seeking process (TRRC) was initiated by the executive arm of government and passed into law by the legislative arm of government. The TRRC is close to the completion of its task after several extensions and more than ever, it is critical to ensure the overarching goals of establishing the truth, healing the country and reparation for the victims is achieved.”

“It is our patriotic duty to support and accompany the process to its logical conclusion as country with a view to ensure Never Again is not merely an empty slogan.”

According to him, the purpose of the solidarity march was to stand in solidarity with victims of human rights violations and their family members, to remind our government of their sacred obligation to ensure that the baby born of the TRRC is not aborted but nurtured to full maturity and also for us as the people of this great nation, to acknowledge that gross human rights violations have been meted out upon our fellow human beings but not only that, but more importantly to commit ourselves, to ‘Never Again’ we allow this in the country.