The Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission has finally announce the commencement of the first public hearing to be on Monday January 7, 2019.
The decision was preceded by logistical arrangements, and preparation of all witnesses to appear before the commission by the Research and Investigations Unit of the commission, according a press release from the TRRC.
The first hearings will focus on the July 22nd, 1994 coup and circumstances surrounding it after which the events of November 11, 1994 will follow.
“The process will move into 1995 and look, among other events, at the case of former Finance minister Ousman Koro Ceesay.”
The commission calls on all victims of Human Rights Violations of the 1994 coup to share their statement by either visiting the TRRC Headquarters at Dunes Resort in Kololi or call either of 9348929 or 2949170 for arrangements to obtain their statement.
“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”, the commission stated in the statement.
In a separate but related issue on the statement, the TRRC informed the public of the establishment of Medical Board by the Ministry of Health to started seeing victims. The Board members include Dr. Charles Roberts – Chairman, Dr. Tijan Senghore, Dr. Kebba Marenah, Dr. Pedro – Psychiatrist, and Mr. Samba Bah – Physiotherapist.
Within the past three weeks, “the board has seen and examined some of the victims needing urgent medical attention”, it says, adding that “these include four April 10/11 2000 victims and victims from the April/May 2016 incidents.”
The commission is now awaiting report and recommendations of the medical board on the cases of the victims.
Similarly, the commission said it has responded to a letter by six United States senators last month urging the TRRC to include in its agenda the case of disappeared Gambian journalist, Chief Ebrima Manneh.
“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.”