By: Christian Conteh
The Gambia Bar Association (GBA) has commended the Adama Barrow led Government, applauding its commitment to implementing a majority of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) recommendations, describing it as a significant milestone in the country’s transitional justice process.
“The Government’s commitment to implementing the overwhelming majority of the TRRC recommendations, with the exception of a few, is indeed a significant milestone in the country’s transitional justice process and a critical step towards fulfilling the overarching objectives of the TRRC. Following a very rigorous, thorough and impartial truth-seeking process conducted by the TRRC, the judicious implementation of the recommendations of the Commission is critical to ensuring justice and accountability,” a statement from the association read.
GBA further welcomes the release of the White Paper on the report of the TRRC and commends the Government of The Gambia for issuing a White Paper within the prescribed six-month time limit as stipulated by s. 30 (3) of the TRRC Act.
“We are pleased to note that Government has committed itself to ensure that those who bear the greatest responsibility for the gross human rights abuses and violations during the period July 1994 – 2017 are held accountable.”
The GBA also welcomes the establishment of the proposed Special Prosecutor’s Office and a special judicial framework within the country’s domestic court system with the requisite capacity as well as the juridical authority to prosecute international crimes such as torture, enforced disappearances and crimes against humanity that are not currently provided for by domestic laws.
The Bar Association used the opportunity to urge the Ministry of Justice to promptly come up with an implementation strategy or plan with clear deliverables, proposed timelines and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms with regard to the implementation of the TRRC recommendations.
It went on to acknowledge the efforts of the Government in establishing the TRRC and mobilising the required resources for the TRRC to carry out its mandate, whilst extending its appreciation to the TRRC, including the Commissioners, Secretariat and all the support staff for its work in establishing the truth and presenting an impartial historical record of the violations and abuses of human rights from July 1994 to January 2017.
The Gambia Bar Association statement signed by the association’s President Salieu Taal and dated 30th May 2022 ended by pledging its commitment to supporting the Government of The Gambia, the victims and the Gambian people as a whole to ensure the success of Gambia’s transitional justice process as a key pillar towards the restoration of the respect for the rule of law and good governance in The Gambia.