I say congratulations to the government on the successful launch of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. One of many promises President Barrow made during the campaign period is finally here. The government couldn’t have scripted a more perfect day in office.
Monday was a watershed. Not only because we’re almost home when it comes to finding the truth regarding the abuses committed by the immediate past government but also for us to open a new page and ease on down the road. Something that we all say needed to be done sooner rather than later. Time has been of real essence.
The TRRC is a hell of a move. It was set up by an Act of Parliament in December 2017. Two things happened before this: the President’s pronouncement and the work that followed to ascertain its workability. That work came in the form of foreign trips to countries familiar with such probes. Consultation was also made internally.
Somehow, this body is part of wider effort to making all right for the country again. The Barrow government has been looking at a bunch of things since coming to power. Security, the economy and justice are part of those things. And I can credit the President’s assertion at the big event on Monday that the establishment of this body isn’t an isolated development.
The TRRC has been handed a two-year mandate and will be setting its eyes on that t-word: the truth. Many of us don’t really know that happened when former President Jammeh was here. We only heard of some bad things; things like people being killed, people being tortured or people being disappeared. Because many of us have been beating our brains to know how these things happened, the TRRC will be out to make sense of it all.
This commission, for the sake of those who might not know, won’t be directly putting people to jail even if they’re found to have committed a wrongdoing. That’s a function of the courts. This commission is only here to do the investigation. That investigation will be done, if assurance from those responsible is anything to have confidence in.
Still, there should be every recognizing of the goodwill so far. The world – world bodies I should say – have been dependable since the start of this whole process. The UN, for example, has been at the ready and has given the country 20 million dollars to help in the transitional justice processes. The TRRC features prominently in this.
There’s a lot to expectation. But while this is, I very much believe the team appointed can be equal to whatever that is expected. Fine these people are with a sense of succeeding, not failing. I’m vouching for them because I’m personal friends with some of them. I know they’ll do everything there is to protect the probe’s credibility. Since that is what is of utmost importance. That’s where its success also lies.
The lot of our TRRC may be tricky but as soon as it finishes taking a deep dive into the things that are worthy of diving, it will proffer the ‘what should be done’ to help in bringing to closure this whole ‘Jammeh did this, Jammeh did that’ episode. My wish to the eleven commissioners and entire staff of the commission is simple: Good luck.