Gambia to set up a hybrid court to prosecute Jammeh-era crimes

Justice Minister Dawda Jallow

By Alieu Ceesay

The Gambia government, with Ecowas, has launched the Ecowas-Gambia joint technical committee to establish an internationalized court to prosecute perpetrators of gross human rights violations committed during the era of ex-President Yahya Jammeh.

Dawda A. Jallow, Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, emphasized the significance of establishing a Hybrid Court in the country at the launch of the initiatives.

“Establishing the Hybrid Court is not merely a legal endeavor but a moral imperative. It is a beacon of hope for those who have suffered in silence and a symbol of our collective commitment to building a society founded on the principles of accountability and respect for human dignity,” the Justice Minister said.

Jallow made these remarks on February 29, 2024, during the inaugural meeting of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) joint technical Committee on the establishment of an internationalized Court for the prosecution of perpetrators of gross human rights violations in the Gambia, spanning from July 1994 to January 2017, mainly under Jammeh’s regime.

Officials at the launching event

As the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission unveiled revelations, courage, and resilience of hundreds of individuals who bravely shared their stories of pain and suffering under former President Yahya Jammeh, Jallow reaffirmed the Gambian government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring accountability for human rights violations.

“the recommendations put forth by the TRRC serve as a guiding light to the Government of The Gambia, illuminating the path towards accountability and reconciliation. By accepting these recommendations, the Government of The Gambia reaffirms its commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that those responsible for human rights violations are held accountable for their actions.”

Jallow acknowledged that Gambia’s domestic legal framework may not suffice to address crimes of such magnitude, including murder, rape, forceful disappearances, among others.

“Therefore, establishing a Hybrid Court would represent a significant step towards justice, transcending borders, and upholding universal human rights principles while contributing to international norms and law.”

According to the AG, “Establishing a Hybrid Court represents a bold step forward in our pursuit of justice. This is also a testament to our determination to transcend borders and uphold the universal human rights principles while significantly contributing to upholding international norms and law.”

Victims of Jammeh’s regime eagerly await bold steps from the Barrow administration against perpetrators as they seek closure and justice for the atrocities committed during the former era of the government of Ex-President Jammeh.

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