By Alf Soninke
The Gambia government “will set up a decentralized Peace and Reconciliation Commission with the mandate of promoting peace, reconciliation and fostering social cohesion.”
This is according to the Official Media Advisory on the Release of the White Paper on the TRRC Report quoting the Minister of Justice, Dawda Jallow.
Justice Minister Jallow was speaking when he released the government’s, White Paper. The event was held on 25 May at the Sir Dawda Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo.
Going by the contents of its White Paper on the TRRC Report, the Gambia government has managed to kill two birds with one stone, say, observers.
Implementing the TRRC recommendations, as spelled out in the White Paper will help achieve the Barrow government’s stated goal of national reconciliation, as well as ensure justice for the victims of the human rights violations and abuses committed by the government of former President Yahya Jammeh.
It is a win-win outcome that satisfies both the government and the victims, according to the observers.
“There is no doubt that the country has gone through a very traumatic experience and is in dire need of individual and collective healing, as well as reconciliation, not just with the perpetrators of these human rights violations but with our past as a nation.
“We must forge ahead to build a strong and resilient society, and to do so quickly; hence we cannot continue to dwell on the past.
“I must hasten to add, however, that reconciliation must be balanced with the need to ensure accountability and that perpetrators who bear the greatest responsibility for human rights abuses are made to face justice and answer for their crimes,” the Gambian minister of Justice added.