Victims of Jammeh administration demand for protection, restoration of dignity

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Victims of former President Yahya Jammeh-led administration have placed their demands to the TRRC reparations committee and the government of The Gambia prior to reconciliation and reparations process.

During a one day stakeholder meeting that give victims and civil society organizations the opportunity to discuss the policy and regulations on reparations proposed by the TRRC before submission to the Ministry of Justice, the victims request for fair and equitable justice in the reparations process.

Upon the culmination of the event, the TRRC will express a commitment to consider the inputs of these victims and CSO representatives in its program development in the near future, including the constitution of a victim database and the conception and implementation of reparations measures.

Presenting a report compiled during the nationwide consultation with victims, Zainab Lowe Jallow, a co-founder of the victims’ centre said the victims are demanding for their protection and restoration of dignity.

She added that they are also requesting for fair and equitable reparations which will ensure their equal access to reparations, saying the reparations must be propositional to the sufferings they have experienced.

“The victims also said that reparation must reflect the seriousness of the violations they have suffered and the magnitude of suffering caused to their loved ones and to those who suffered the violations,” she added.

Jainaba Lowe-Jallow said victims are also demanding to be allowed to decide their fate and for their stories to be acknowledged.

Madam Jallow further stated that some of the concerns of the victims is that most of their perpetrators are in high positions in the government while others are driving flashy cars, saying this will further traumatise them.

Adelaide Sosseh, vice chairperson of the TRRC and head of the reparations committee said the meeting is an important milestone in the development of the reparations regulations.

Madam Sosseh said the meeting will give the victims and civil society organisations the opportunity to discuss the policy before submitting it to the ministry of justice.

“The discussions were also centred issues of victims’ registration, general perceptions about reparations and reparation measures that are responsive to victims’ needs; implementation mechanisms that reflect victims’ contextual realities in different parts of the country and the role of the victims and CSOs in the implementation of reparations.”

Head of programs at the international centre of transitional justice, Gbery Didier, said ICTJ work with national institutions, victims and civil society organisations to contribute to the redress of victims and help prevent such atrocities from recurring.

The TRRC was established in 2017 to establish an impartial historical record of violations and abuses of human rights committed from July 1994 to January 2017, to respond to the needs of victims and grant reparations in appropriate.

Story written by Juldeh Njie 

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