Gambian President, Adama Barrow, has revealed plans on implementation of the report by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) established in 2018 to investigate human rights violations under the Yahya Jammeh presidency.
The TRRC, set up in 2017, submitted its report to Mr Barrow’s cabinet on November 25, nine days to the presidential election held last Saturday.
Mr Barrow while responding to questions from journalists on Tuesday said the report will go through some processes, lasting about seven months, before a final draft would be adopted.
“The TRRC is a very important project to me,” he said. “It can be part of my legacy as president. But this project and any other project, you have to follow a process. The process is (that) they submitted the report to me, we will look at the report, we’ll make sure we make it public after one month so that me and you can know what is in the report.
“Then not more than six months, we should come out with a white paper but this white paper is not entirely my decision. It will come to cabinet; the cabinet will discuss it. It’s not cabinet alone. We will have technical team that will advise us, after the advice, basically what we agreed on, we will have it on white paper. That white paper will dictate what we accept and what we didn’t accept.
“One thing we want to assure, there will be justice and reconciliation, reparation, it will all happen but we have to be patient.”
The TRRC came to life after the National Assembly’s passage of bill establishing it in 2017.
The commission for three years investigated and documented cases of human rights violation against citizens under the 22-year rule of dictator Jammeh.
Mr Jammeh, who lost the 2016 election to Mr Barrow had held on to power but had to flee the country for Equatorial Guinea after pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Under his rule, there were several reported and unreported cases of extra-judicial killings, rape, disappearances, imprisonments among other grave vices.
For instance, in 2000, it was widely reported that some 14 people were killed by the Gambian police at a students’ protest in Banjul.
This and many other atrocities have raised the hope of many Gambians for a prosecution of the former dictator. However, Mr Barrow did not state if his predecessor would be prosecuted or not.
“It’s not me per se,” he replied when a journalist asked if he would attempt to have Mr Jammeh extradited from exile and prosecute him. “It will depend on what is the recommendation and also, it will depend on my technical team”.
“We have to look at the report and the recommendation, with my cabinet and my minister of Justice. They’ll advise us and cabinet will sit around the table…we just want to assure the entire world and Gambians that there would be justice,” he said.
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