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 TRRC Update: Countdown to launching
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Momodou



Denmark
9068 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2018 :  23:59:12  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
TRRC Update: Countdown to launching

At long last, a tentative date for the launching of the TRRC has been set. Following the end of the calls for nominations in the Greater Banjul Area and the Diaspora and the regional selection process, 11 names have been identified for final appointment as Commissioners of the TRRC. The names were submitted for vetting by the Technical Committee on Transitional Justice on the morning of Tuesday, August 14. Having passed this stage, the names will soon be published in the media with a call for public objections to any person on the list. Guidelines for the submission of objections will be included in the announcement. Once this process is over, the names will be submitted to the President for appointment after consultations with key civil society organizations as per the provisions of Section 5 (1) of the TRRC. The date set for the launching of the TRRC is October 15, 2018. The launching ceremony is expected to take place at the headquarters of the TRRC at Dunes Resort, behind Palma Rima, where renovation works are well underway. It is expected that the main hall and other areas of the headquarters if not all renovation works will be completed before the launch date. Efforts are underway to place signposts at strategic approaches to Dunes as well as place TRRC billboards in strategic locations across the country.

Meanwhile, recruitment of TRRC secretariat staff is also well underway. Following our first call for applications, several candidates for the various advertised positions were shortlisted and interviewed. Of these some very offered positions. The interview panel consists of four persons: the Executive and Deputy Executive secretary of the TRRC, a lawyer attached to the Transitional Justice working group at the Ministry of Justice, and the country representative of the International Center for Transitional Justice. After every interview and before the next candidate is called in, the panel exchanged views on the merits and demerits of every candidate and a decision is made whether to consider hiring or not, pending upcoming interviews for that position. At the end of the interview process for the day, the panel again exchanged views on which candidate is most suitable for the job. All decisions of the panel have been by consensus.

So far appointments have been made to the positions of Director of Research and Investigations, Director of Communications, Outreach and Media, and Deputy Director of Research and Investigations (an upcoming media advisory will announce this person’s appointment). We have also appointed some investigators, research assistants, and a communications officer. Appointment letters for the first batch of statement takers – 10 in total – will be issued in the next few days. Calls for applications for investigators (both male and female) and statement takers (females only and male speakers of Jola, Manjago, Karoninka and Sarahuleh) have been re-issued, as well as calls for applications for several other secretariat staff. Shortlisting and interviews for this second batch of positions will be conducted as soon as possible after the Tobaski holiday. Terms of reference for a women’s affairs coordinator are being drafted and the position will be advertised as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, our outreach activities and Never Again campaign has been gathering steam over the past few months. Since our last update we have held two workshops for journalists: the first on reporting truth commissions jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, the Peacebuilding Support Office of the United Nations (through UNDP Gambia) and the Institute for Integrated Transitions who sent an expert to conduct the training. The second, also sponsored by the Ministry of Justice and the UN PBSO brought a world-renowned expert in transitional justice to train representatives of civil society organizations and media on the roles of CSOs and media in transitional justice. At least one more workshop for journalists is planned for the period before the TRRC launch date, as are trainings for the commissioners and secretariat staff.

Since June we have had a series of meetings with important stakeholders in Gambian society. We have had consultative meetings and engagements with Imams from several parts of the country, Executive members of the Gambia Christian Council, school principals across the country on how to develop and expand the Children’s Network on Transitional Justice, members of the IFIT Brain Trust – The Gambia, and members of the newly formed Civil Society Organizations Transitional Justice Working Group. More recently, we co-sponsored a highly successful two-day sensitization workshop for religious and traditional community leaders. Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, the PBSO through the UNDP Gambia Office and the TRRC, this workshop brought together chiefs, imams, pastors, traditional communicators, youths, and representatives of NGOs and CSOs, including women’s organizations to discuss the whats, hows and whys of the TRRC and map out strategies for effective engagement going forward. Our most recent engagement was with representatives of the Transitional Justice Gender Action Network one of whose primary objectives is to ensure the mainstreaming and active involvement and participation of women in the TRRC process. In this regard, we are pleased to report that four out of the seven appointees to the TRRC secretariat so far are women: the Deputy Executive Secretary, the Director of Communications, Outreach and Media, and two research assistants.

Our community outreach activities will continue as the TRRC moves forward. We believe that having robust and meaningful engagement and conversations with and among all sectors of Gambian society on the systemic and cultural causes and consequences of dictatorship and human rights violations of all forms is the best way to prevent recurrence. Transitional justice processes offer societies a chance to actively revisit the past with a view to discovering the truth about past violations in all their various manifestations, identifying the root causes of such violations in all their various manifestations, and figuring out how to transform mindsets and attitudes to the extent that such violations will simply become inconceivable in the future. That is the primary objective of our Never Again campaign.

The tricky question of reparations have been a prominent feature of all conversations we have had with many of the stakeholders above and others. Suffice it to say that the Ministry of Justice and the TRRC remain resolutely committed to the issue of reparations. Active steps are being taken by the Ministry to ensure that funds are secured for reparations as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the TRRC Secretariat is working closely with UNICEF and the Victims Center to start a scholarship scheme for children who lost their parents to the dictatorship. The Victim’s Center is coordinating the process of identifying child beneficiaries and we hope that by the start of the new school year, some children will benefit from the scholarship scheme. The TRRC intends to set up a Victims Support Fund as soon as possible to make sure that as much assistance as possible is offered to victims either as formal reparations, or as interim support measures while reparations are considered. The position of Victim Support Coordinator has been created specifically to ensure that victims receive the attention and the support they need during the TRRC process.

Finally, we are happy to report that members of the international community have being extremely supportive of the TRRC and the transitional justice process in general. We have and are receiving invaluable support and encouragement from the United Nations Peace Building Support Office through UNDP-Gambia, the Embassies of the United Kingdom, the United States, Holland, Belgium, France, Canada and the European Union, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), and the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT). The State of Qatar is the latest member of the international community to express strong support for the TRRC and Gambia’s transitional justice program. We are also working on support from Justice Rapid Response (JRR) mainly to train social on and psycho-social support workers, and from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on work related to missing persons and exhumations. We are also in contact with the Victims and Witnesses Section of the International Criminal Court on developing a witness protection program for the TRRC. A senior policy adviser at the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice has offered to help facilitate the TRRC’s engagement with the Gambian Diaspora in that country. We will continue exploring that offer. Our intention is to have engagements with Gambian Diaspora communities everywhere.

In the meantime, watch out for the list of 11 commissioners nominated for appointment to the TRRC and our launching event slated for October 15, 2018.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

Momodou



Denmark
9068 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2018 :  13:55:20  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Launch of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission is today

His Excellency, President Adama Barrow currently presiding over the launching and swearing-in ceremony of members of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commissions at the Dunes Hotel.

Today marks the culmination of several months of studies and consultations for the beginning of the much-anticipated mechanism that is expected to ensure healing, justice and proper documentation of the rights violations and abuses that took place in the previous regime.

The establishment of the TRRC constitutes one of the fundamental pillars of the National Development Plan of the Barrow administration.

Joining the president in gracing the auspicious occasion is the Speaker of the National Assembly, Cabinet Members, the Chief Justice, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Asst. Secretary-General for Peace Building, UN Special Rep of the UNSG for West Africa and the Sahel, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, among other dignitaries.
More details to follow

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
9068 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2018 :  20:17:33  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
ICC To Follow Gambia’s TRRC ‘With Interest’ CLICK TO READ MORE: http://eyeafrica.tv/icc-to-follow-gambias-trrc-with-interest/

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
9068 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2018 :  13:41:41  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Address by Sheriff Kijera, Chairman of The Board of The Gambian Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations at the launching of the TRRC on15 October 2018

The Point: Wednesday, October 17, 2018

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/address-by-sheriff-kijera-chairman-of-the-board-of-the-gambian-center-for-victims-of-human-rights-vi

Today is symbolic because it is really a high point in the story of the TRRC and history of The Gambia. This is an important point that must be properly marked: The first ever TRRC in The Gambia.


A great moment of hope for the victims, who for many years have waiting for justice to be served. This great day has been awaited anxiously by the victims who had lost all hope and no longer knew which way to turn to. However, they have found a glimmer of hope based on the establishment of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.

This TRRC which is launching today has great importance for the victims for several reasons: it helps them to carry out their mourning, to know the truth and to establish the responsibility to finish impunity and put an end to the cycle of human rights violations and to obtain justice and reparations and reconciliation for sustainable peace and stability in our nation.

Some of the victims were mourning because their loved ones were summarily executed or disappeared and they have not seen or heard from them again, some of the families traumatized by the event, they do not know how or what happened to their family members, they do not know the way in which they were killed and if they were buried at all. They have not had any kind of support or guidance to overcome their trauma and to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones.

As such the hope that proceededwhich will take place before this TRRC will make it possible for them to understand what really happened and to help them build their families and have their dignity restored. The Gambian Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations has documented hundreds of cases although the full extent of violations may never be known. However, many victims suffered terrible human rights violations for many years and some of them have high expectations of what the TRRC will be doing for them. Therefore, the immediate task of the TRRC is to ensure that the nation is well informed about its mandate and missions and what it will be doing for the victims.

Your Excellency, for 22 years Yahya Jammeh was kept in power by a web of oppression that touched nearly every part of Gambian households. The nightmare, but not the memories, ended only when the dictator was forced to step down and the Coalition Government took over. However, it is disappointing to note that institutional reforms haven’t been quite methodical as it is supposed to be, alleged perpetrators and enablers of the atrocities committed under the Jammeh regime still find it comfortable, holding lucrative positions in government while victims continue to suffer indignity of the experiences of inhuman, degrading treatment and their deteriorating health conditions which the government completely ignored and failed to address.

Some of the victims have lost everything! This is not due to natural disaster but as a result of human actions. The victims are convinced that these acts committed by intuitions of the State of their agents including the military, the police, the parliament, judiciary, civil service and local administrative structures were progressively politicized and turned into agents of a political party. About time we play fair and be responsible!

Your Excellency, we command your government’s effort on the initiative and wisdom of establishing the transitional justice project. We support the processes of the Truth Commission and we call upon all Gambian to own the process and support the government on their transitional justice program. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice and his team did a fantastic job in making the TRRC a reality. The architect Mr. Hussein Tomassi and members of the Transitional Justice Technical Committee can be proud of their effort and of this historic mile-stone.

Mr. President, Your Excellency, certainly you will vacate the State House one day and don’t want to be escorted out of a dear motherland like your predecessor, we do not want to set-up another truth and reconciliation commission after you left office. We do not want to have another financial commission to investigate the dealings of a former president. We want to continue loving you as we always did when we elected you into office December 1st, 2016. We want to continue loving you and celebrating you as a stateman that continue living with us in The Gambia for many many years to come.

Mr. President, there is always life after presidency and that retirement is earned through good governance, transparency, accountability and upholding the cardinal principles of due processes and the rule of law. We support your government’s development agenda and want to succeed and we want you to succeed and you have to work hard to earn the trust and confidence of all Gambians.

God bless the TRRC, the successful accomplishment of justice and reconciliation for sustainable peace building and stability of The Gambia. Together The Gambia says Never Again to the horrors of oppression.

Thank you all.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
9068 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2018 :  21:19:55  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
TRRC Update: Hearings Start January 7, 2019

Finally we have a date: The TRRC will hold its first public hearing on Monday January 7, 2019. The decision was finalized at a meeting of the commissioners and senior staff of the Secretariat at Dunes Resort on Wednesday, December 5. We are confident that all necessary logistics will be in place and tested before January 7. Like we mentioned in a previous update, our Research and Investigations Unit and our Legal Team have prepared the witnesses who will first appear before the commission. The first hearings will focus on the July 22nd, 1994 coup and circumstances surrounding it. Our teams have also started working with witnesses for the events of November 11, 1994. After that, the process will move into 1995 and look, among other events, at the case of former Finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay.

At this point, we ask all Victims of Human Rights Violations of the 1994 coup to please come to the TRRC Headquarters at Dunes Resort, Kololi and share their statement. If they are unable to come to the TRRC HQ, they may call 9348929 or 2949170 and arrangements will be made to take their statement. Anyone that has any information on Human Rights Violations that will be helpful to the TRRC is also encouraged to come to our offices or call the above two numbers. We will be sharing more phone numbers with the public and conducting outreach exercises to reach out to those who cannot call or come to the TRRC headquarters. Some of this outreach could be done by reaching out to the various Victim representative in all the regions and asking them to help amplify the message. The objective is to give all victims of 1994 and every year within our mandate period a chance to share their statement if they so desire.

Meanwhile, we are happy to report that the medical board we requested from the Ministry of Health has been set up and has started seeing victims. Indeed, it was set up just a few days after our request letter of November 5th, 2018. Board members include Dr. Charles Roberts – Chairman, Dr. Tijan Senghore, Dr. Kebba Marenah, Dr. Pedro – Psychiatrist, and Mr. Samba Bah – Physiotherapist. For the past three Wednesdays (November 21, November 28 and December 5) the board has seen and examined some of the victims needing urgent medical attention. These include four April 10/11 2000 victims and victims from the April/May 2016 incidents. All victims were accompanied to their appointments by members of the TRRC’s Victim Support, Women’s Affairs, and Youth and Children’s Network units. Our staff also accompanied some of them to have prescribed CT and x-ray scans taken at Bafrow and other clinics. The TRRC facilitated transportation and paid the modest costs of the scans and other small related expenses. We hope to receive the report and recommendations of the medical board as soon as they finish their work with the victims. We will continue doing our best to assist victims needing urgent medical attention to get it at the earliest possible time.

We have also responded to a letter sent to the TRRC Secretariat by six United States senators last month. In their letter of November 19, 2018 the senators urged the TRRC to include in our agenda a review of the case of disappeared Gambian journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh. We have assured the senators that Manneh’s case is indeed on our list of cases to be reviewed and that no stone will be left unturned to make sure that the truth surrounding his arrest and disappearance is brought to light. The senators were also advised that since we are working on a year to year basis starting from 1994, and since Manneh’s case started in 2006, it will take a little while before it receives a full research and investigative focus.

In the near future, a separate update on our Never Again campaign and other activities of our research and investigations, victim support, women’s affairs, reconciliation, and youth and children’s network units will be shared with the general public. The TRRC seeks the nation’s support and prayers as we prepare for our first hearing on January 7, 2019.

#NeverAgain

Source: TRRC

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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