The United States Government’s Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching a 10-month Rapid Response initiative to make immediate progress on prosecutions of alleged crimes committed under the Jammeh regime. The focus will be on setting up a new Special Prosecutor’s Office for crimes covered by domestic laws while linking this work to a future hybrid or internationalized court with jurisdiction over international crimes.
The Rapid Response initiative will support the Ministry of Justice on three fronts. First, the initiative will support the drafting of legislation to establish a Special Prosecutor’s Office. Second, the initiative will support the design of a hybrid or internationalized court in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that would have jurisdiction over international crimes. Finally, the initiative will support public sensitization of the public and political actors on the roles and responsibilities of transitional justice institutions.
In November 2021, the Gambian Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission’s (TRRC) report found that ex-president Yahya Jammeh and his supporters were guilty of crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations. Since the release of the report, The Gambia has grappled with how to approach prosecutions of Jammeh-era crimes in part due to a lack of resources. The Rapid Response initiative is expected to alleviate this problem and accelerate processes leading to prosecutions.