Victims Center Expresses Discontent Over Gov’t Slow Pace Implementation of TRRC Recommendations

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Victims' center officials at the Tuesday press briefing in Kololi

By: Fatou Dahaba

At a press conference held at the office of The Gambia Center For Victims of Human Rights Violations in Kololi on Tuesday, January 30th, 2024, the Head of Programs at the Center, Kebba Jome, said they’re not satisfied with the pace of implementation of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission’s (TRRC) recommendations to the Gambia government, as only nine of the 263 recommendations have been implemented thus far.

He said if things had gone well by now, at least 30 to 40 percent of the recommendations would have been implemented.

“There are recommendations easy to implement, like renaming the Arch after the victims, but that has not taken place, and in normal circumstances, that can take place within two weeks even though it may require some arrangements, but if the government wants, they should be able to do it within a short time,” Mr. Jome said.

He continued to say that other recommendations on whom the TRRC findings found adversely mentioned by the Truth Commission are still in active service.

“It took us almost two years to get rid of those people. We recommend the Minister of Justice wrote to the various institutions of those individuals adversely mentioned by the Commission and still at work that we want their services either terminated or dismissed, and they wrote to them. Our expectation was that it was going to be an immediate deadline thing. Still, it has not happened that way. We have instances where some of them work until up to a stage they were incapacitated and can no longer go to work,” Victims Center’s Head of Programs emphasized with a note of disappointment.

Mr. Jome further stressed that they’re unsatisfied with the process and that the pace is dead slow. He noted that with this pace, it may take ten years or so before the government can reach its target of implementing the TRRC recommendations.

According to Jome, the implementation plan’s target duration is five years, and all recommendations should be implemented by 2027; however, it is already 2024, and so far, only nine recommendations have been implemented. That means we have a lot untouched and a long way to go.

Mr. Jome also described the communication between the government, the Ministry of Justice, and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as a “weak link” as there are no regular updates and often no consultation.

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