The Ministry of Justice in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will conduct nationwide consultations on the establishment and implementation of a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) in The Gambia from 14th to the 24th of August 2017. The national consultations will be led by the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubacarr M. Tambadou.
The main objective of the consultations is to solicit the views and opinions of Gambians on the establishment of the proposed Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission in The Gambia. Some of the pertinent issues to be discussed with public will relate to the proposed objectives and functions of the TRRC.
Objectives of the Commission
The proposed objectives of the Commission are to –
(a) create an impartial historical record of violations and abuses of human rights from july1994 to January 2017, in order to-
(i) promote healing and reconciliation,
(ii) respond to the needs of the victims;
(iii) address impunity; and
(iv) prevent a repetition of the violations and abuses suffered.
(b) recommend the granting of amnesty to persons in appropriate cases;
(c) establish and make known the fate or whereabouts of disappeared victims;
(d) provide victims an opportunity to relate their own accounts of the violations and abuses suffered; and
(e) grant reparations to victims in appropriate cases.
Functions of the Commission
(1) The proposed functions of the Commission is to initiate and coordinate investigations into-
- violations and abuses of human rights;
- the nature, causes and extent of violations and abuses of human rights, including the antecedents, circumstances, factors, context, motives and perspectives which led to such violations and abuses;
- the identity of all persons, authorities, institutions and organizations involved in such violations;
- the question whether such violations were the result of deliberate planning on the part of the State, its organs or other groups or an individual;
- the gathering of information and the receiving of evidence from any person, which establish the identity of victims of such violations, their fate or present whereabouts and the nature and extent of the harm suffered by such victims; and
- determining what evidence have been destroyed by any person in order to conceal violations and abuses of human rights.
(2) The Commission shall-
(a) prepare a comprehensive report which sets out its activities and findings based on factual and objective information and evidence collected, received by it or placed at its disposal; and
(b) make recommendations to the President with regard to the creation of institutions conducive to the development of a stable and democratic society as well as the institutional, administrative and legislative measures which should be taken in order to prevent the commission of violations and abuses of human rights.
The Government of The Gambia under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice will launch the National Consultations on the TRRC, at the Djembe Hotel on the 4th day of August 2017. Ministers, members of the Diplomatic Corp, Judges and members of the legal profession, international development partners, civil society organizations, journalist, religious/traditional leaders, youth groups, women groups, the victims association, etc. will be in attendance. The Minister of Justice will deliver the keynote address and perform the official launch of the nationwide consultations. This will be preceded by addresses from the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme of The Gambia and the Executive Director of Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA).