Following a long-awaited official declaration on the issue, Gambian civil society organizations have called on authorities to bring former dictator Yahya Jammeh to justice. The government has until May 25th to make a decision on the recommendations made six months ago by a commission that probed the former dictator.
A total of between 240 and 250 people died at the hands of the state or its agents between 1994 and 2017. This figure comes from a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Civil society organizations are calling for Yahya Jammeh and the 69 individuals mentioned by the commission as accused wrongdoers to be held accountable for their crimes.
AFP obtained a copy of the white paper, which stated that “Jammeh and those named by the TRRC should, without fail, be held accountable for their crimes.” The white paper made reference to the 69 other suspected perpetrators named in the TRRC report, which was obtained on Friday by the news agency. According to the report, there should be prior communication with victims and/or their families before any decisions on amnesty are made.
The civil society organizations also stated that the government should reform the security forces and other institutions in order to prevent a recurrence of the allegedly abusive practices. “The government must show political will if it wants to get justice for people whose rights have been violated,” says the report.
A surprising election defeat by President Adama Barrow resulted in Jammeh’s expulsion from the country in January 2017. However, the former despot continues to exert influence over the country’s political scene. A deal between Barrow’s party and the former dictator’s APRC, which was widely perceived as a tactic to court Jammeh voters, led to his party’s victory in the presidential election last year. In addition, a Jammeh friend was recently sworn in as the speaker of the House of Representatives.
The United Nations says that The Gambia, which has a population of two million people and is surrounded by Senegal and is the smallest country in Africa, is one of the world’s least developed countries. The Gambia is an English-speaking enclave with a population of two million people that is surrounded by Senegal.