January 14, 2019

Will Gambia’s truth commission bring Jammeh to justice?

The country has begun hearings on decades of alleged abuses under ex-president Yahya Jammeh.

A Gambian truth and reconciliation commission began its first hearing this month to look into alleged human rights abuses that occurred during the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh.

Between 1994 and 2016, Jammeh allegedly oversaw gross human rights violations including witch hunts, torture, enforced disappearances, and sexual violence. Many atrocities are said to have been committed by his own paramilitary hit squad. Jammeh was known as an eccentric leader who also subjected Gambians to fraudulent treatments for HIV/AIDS.

Hearings for the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) will feature testimony from victims, witnesses and alleged perpetrators. The commission will decide compensation for victims and recommend cases for further prosecution.

This month marks two years since Jammeh fled from The Gambia after refusing to concede defeat in a 2016 presidential election. He has been living in exile in Equatorial Guinea, where he is being protected from extradition. Since his departure, some aspects of Gambian civil society, including the return of a free press, have improved. But the country is still struggling economically and many young people are considering leaving.

In this episode, we'll discuss what a truth, reconciliation and reparations commission could achieve in The Gambia and how the country has changed under new leadership.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Sheriff Bojang Jr. @Chronicle_GM
Editor-in-Chief, The Chronicle

Fatu Camara @Fatushow
Broadcaster & CEO, Fatu Network

Minister Abubacarr Tambadou @Gambia_MOJ
Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Republic of The Gambia

Read more:
Ex-president Jammeh was 'trouble' for Gambia from the start - first commission witness - Reuters
Barrow’s Gambia: A dream betrayed - Daily Monitor

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