TRRC Chair: Killings, other human rights violations are intimidation from Jammeh’s brutal reign

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- The Chairman of the Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), Dr Lamin Sise said the unlawful crimes committed by agents of the state were not individual decisions but intimidation from jammeh’s brutal reign.

“It was also clear from witness accounts that the actions of these agents weren’t the product of individual decisions on their part but rather a calculated and intentional policy of Yahya Jammeh to consolidate and perpetuate his reign of terror and fear in The Gambia,” he said.

Dr Sise made the remarks as he gave opening statement of the 22nd session of the commission’s public hearing on Monday.

This comes after several witnesses testified on the alleged massacre of the West African migrants in July 2005.

“Some witness perpetrators testified that they themselves would be killed if they did not carry out superior orders to torture detainees to unlawfully obtain confession,” he noted.

The commission’s chief said the unlawful killings does not respresent the values of the country, saying Gambia embraces strangers and usually assist them when they are in need.

“These attributes did not represent The Gambia. Our cultures, ethos, and traditions welcome strangers. We share food and shelter willingly with them. Not kill them!”

According to Dr. Sise, the killing of the West African migrants adds to the chilling litany of mass murders of human beings in addition to individual killings in The Gambia during Jammeh’s era.

He further called on Gambians to embrace the “Never Again!” mantra of the truth commission.

Since the inception of the TRRC, at least 358 people, who were victims and self confessed perpetrators, testified before the commission on the series of human rights violations committed from 1994 to 2017 under the dictates of Jammeh.

Many perpetrators revealed that they were ordered by former president Yahya Jammeh to carry out those unlawful crimes.

Nearly 51 West African migrants stranded at the shores of Barra were killied in July 2005. Some of the jungulers who came to testify before the commission confirmed that they killed the migrants under the orders of Jammeh.

The TRRC is set to finished its final report and submit recommendations to The Gambia government during the first week of July this year.

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