Amidst Criticism: Gambia’s TRRC Assures all Victims of Justice

By Bakary Ceesay

Dr. Lamin J. Sise, chairperson of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission
Dr. Lamin J. Sise, chairperson of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission

Dr. Lamin J. Sise, chairperson of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) has reassured all victims and their families that the TRRC values their contribution to their work and that they will do everything in their power to ensure that they all get the justice, healing and the reparations they deserve.

Recently opposition Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) heavily critize the TRRC citing lots of irregularities. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Interim leader told journalists that looking at the questioning style of TRRC, lots of contradictions, and the presence of Alagie Barrow, who was found guilty of treason so on the ground as a party they don’t have any confidence in the TRRC.

However, during the sixth session of hearings on 8 July, 2019, Sise has stressed that the TRRC remains committed to fulfilling its mandate to assist The Gambia on this difficult path to justice, healing, and reconciliation.

 “The TRRC cannot do this without the support and encouragement of the general public, and so as always, we continue to crave the public’s continued support, understanding and prayers,” he said.

He explained that as they embark upon this sixth session, they expect to hear testimonies on the suppression of the freedom of the press and the related human rights violations involving the media and individual journalists.

He added that: “We will also hear testimonies from persons adversely mentioned in previous hearings. We remain grateful to all witnesses who have so far testified before the Commission. We are especially grateful to those courageous and dignified women who, despite the odds, were able to share their painful experiences with the Commission and the general public”

 Sise, veteran UN official pointed out that: “In testifying before the Commission, these brave women not only educated us on their own personal plights, but also on the plights of their innocent families devastated by acts of lawlessness, wrongful detention, and state bullying of citizens which should never happen in any civilized society,”

 “We hope that many more witnesses will come forward and assist the Commission in carrying out its mandate to create an impartial record of human rights violations and abuses during the period July 1994 – January 2017,”

 Sise noted that: “We are pleased to note that Gambians and friends of The Gambia across the board have taken ownership of the TRRC process, and that many are stepping forward to offer much-needed support and solace to the victims of human rights violations and their families”

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