Posted - 26 May 2022 : 16:00:56
Victims optimistic after release of gov’t TRRC White Paper
The Point: May 26, 2022
Scores of victims have reacted to the government White Paper on the recommendations of the TRRC, which was released on Wednesday 25 May 2022, welcoming it as a move that gives them hope.
Speaking to the media, Sheriff Kijera, the chairman of the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations, said the release of the white paper is “positively received by the victims with great expectations for effective implementation by the government, and with the right mechanisms for effective delivery.”
Baba Hydara, son of Deyda Hydara and a board member for victim's center expressed delight with the government in releasing the white paper.
“We know that there is a lot of works ahead but am sure the Government will make sure to implement it. As a victim, it’s a very important day because we have been waiting impatiently.”
He said they would now work with government for the implementation of the recommendations.
Amie Sillah, a victim of Jammeh also explained that her reaction to the release of the White Paper sounds promising. She said after so many years of waiting for justice or any form of step taken, they congratulate the TRRC and the government for the initiative.
“All we need right now is implementation of the White Paper especially those holding government positions to be suspended or terminated.”
Sirra Ndow also reiterated that her expectations were high, saying the TRRC was reasonable.
“The next chapter is here and if we continue on this trend, we can expect to succeed.”
Reed Brody reacts to gov’t White Paper
Reed Brody of the International Commission of Jurists, who works with Jammeh’s victims and who played an instrumental role in bringing former Chadian President Hissene Habre to trial at a special court in Senegal, has reacted to the release of the Government White Paper on the recommendations of the TRRC.
“The white paper is an important and meaningful step forward. The government is on record as supporting Yahya Jammeh's prosecution. Now the government will have to demonstrate with concrete actions to an increasingly skeptical public that it actually has the determination to bring the perpetrators to book. Laws still have to be enacted, a court has to be established, cases have to be prepared, and Yahya Jammeh has to be brought into custody.”
“After the powerful public testimonies at the TRRC which deeply impacted Gambians, there is a strong expectation, both at home and abroad, that the government will deliver justice – including criminal trials – without further delay for victims who have already waited five years, and in some cases much longer.”
“The evidence is there, including from many of his henchmen, directly linking Jammeh to murder, torture, rape and other terrible crimes. If the Gambian government really wants to make it happen, and puts in the work, we could see Jammeh in handcuffs in the next few years. But it is all a question of political will.”
A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone