Victims’ centre chairman hopeful of Jammeh’s prosecution, dismisses claims of overstaying in office

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Sheriff Kijera

Sheriff Kijera, outgoing Chairman of Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violation, has expressed hope that former President Yahya Jammeh will be prosecuted by 2025 while dismissing claims that his team overstays in office announcing the Board will call for AGM next month to elect new leadership.

He said efforts are on course from both sides of the Government and victims to bring Jammeh and his close associates adversely mentioned in the truth commission to justice.

Kijera also dismisses claims that the organization’s Board of Directors do not want to leave office after the expiration of their term, describing it as false and wielding speculation meant to misinform the public.

“Over the years, we have made a great stride in ensuring that the issues of victims of human rights violations come to the limelight and that the concerns of victims are addressed. With the conclusion of the TRRC, release of government white paper and the coming up of the road map for a closure indicates that a lot of things have been achieved as far as the closure of victims cases is concerned,” Sheriff Kijera, outgoing Chairman of Victim’s Center disclosed to TAT in an interview.

He added: “We have been working closely with both the victims and the Government in ensuring that all victims have closure to their cases, reparations paid, and those adversely mentioned to be tried either here or abroad. However, on the issue of their ringleader, Yahya Jammeh, I am optimistic that by 2025, he will be brought to trial to answer all the crimes he allegedly committed during his 22-year rule.”

According to him, the victims center has been working with key stakeholders both within and outside to ensure that the recommendations of the TRRC are implemented, affirming that Jammeh and all those who committed grievous crimes on innocent citizens and foreign nationals face the full force of the law.

On the call for the resignation of the Board of Directors of the Victims Center for failing to organize the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by certain members of the organization, Sheriff Kijera admitted that their term has expired and efforts are on course to hold the said AGM by 5th August 2023.

According to him, the failure of the Board to host the AGM square down to a lack of funding coupled with an ongoing auditor process spare headed by the Board in line with good practices and transparency, noting that the Board has since set a date for the said AGM to be held on 5th August 2023.

“I think the call for the resignation of the Board of Directors of Victims Center by certain disgruntled organization members is uncalled for at this stage; all we need at this juncture as victims is unity. It is only through unity that makes it possible for the center to make these giant strides within this short time, and it’s only unity and understanding we are calling for at this stage not sawing the seeds of discord within the organization,” Sheriff Kijera reacted to allegations.

He added: “It’s not true that the Board is unwilling to leave office; this is mere speculation meant to mislead the public on the realities of the group. Currently, the office is auditing, and by 5th August 2023, the said AGM will be held where I will not be running as my two-term mandate as Chairman of the victims center will end.”

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