By Yankuba Jallow
Dr. Lamin J. Sise, the Chairman of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has disclosed that they have obtained the approval of the President to extend their mandate to June 2021.
The TRRC was mandated to do their work within two years, but owing to the global pandemic, the proceedings were stopped and thus, the need for an extension. The Commission will submit their final report to the President in July 2021.
TRRC was set up by an Act of the National Assembly to investigate past human rights violations that happened under the 22-year rule of ex-President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh’s rule is described as one that people’s rights were violated in which people were allegedly tortured, killed and unlawfully detained.
So far over a hundred witnesses have testified including victims, perpetrators and expert witnesses.
Below is the full statement by Dr. Sise delivered on Wednesday, 25th November 2020.
“Statement by the Chairman of TRRC
(25 November 2020)
TRRC TO SUBMIT FINAL REPORT IN EARLY JULY 2021
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission recently undertook a comprehensive review of the remaining themes in its work programme covering public hearings and investigations. These themes include the following:
(a) the killing of an estimated 56 West African migrants in 2005,
(b) the enforced disappearances of journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh and others,
(c) the creation of instruments of oppression and the debasement of the Gambian constitution,
(d) the April 14, 2016 protest leading to the arrest and torture of many persons and the alleged killing of Solo Sandeng,
(e) sexual and gender-based violence (part two), and
(f) Junglers (part two).
The Commission, in compliance with the COVID-19 related health regulations issued by the Government, scaled down its activities. In view of the interruptions in its work programme, the Commission concluded that in order to complete its work in a timely manner, it needed more time beyond the two years provided for under the TRRC Act, 2017. Accordingly, the Commission, on 18 November 2020, recommended to the President of the Republic to extend the time granted to TRRC until 30 June 2021. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice informed the Commission that the President, pursuant to Section (3), (2) of the TRRC Act, 2017, has approved the said recommendation.
The Commission will, therefore, conclude its public hearings during the first week of May 2021, and prepare during the rest of May and June the final report containing its findings and recommendations. That report will be submitted to the President in early July.
In view of the urgency of finishing its work under the revised schedule, and in a departure from tradition, the Commission will not suspend its public hearings during the month of Ramadan (12 April-11 May 2021).]”