By Nelson Manneh
The National Coordinator of the Victims Center, Adama Jallow, said they are aware of the gradual implementation process of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission recommendations, but adds that victims of rights violations want the government to expedite all medical assistance for those in need with urgency.
Mr Jallow made this statement during a press briefing held at the Victims Center’s main office in Senegambia. As the National Coordinator of the Center, Jallow said the recommendations that the Truth Commission came with are many, and cannot be implemented at the same time. He however acknowledged that there are recommendations that require urgency and needs to be looked at.
“Some of the victims are really suffering and need immediate medical assistance. Government should consider these cases and ensure that they receive the required medical attention and treatment,” Jallow said. He said the victims know that the process is expensive but their health matters a lot, and that this needs to be considered.
“Death is evitable but we want the victims to feel that they have been part of the whole process so that they will not blame the government for any form of negligence,” Jallow said, adding that some victims have partially received some form of reparation but there are others who have not receive anything at all, and are still waiting for the Government to act on them.
Readers may recall Civil Society Organizations have developed and submitted a White Paper on the TRRC Report and Recommendations to the government, after the report was submitted. The CSOs in their overview of victims’ perspectives stated that it is imperative to remember that there can be no meaningful national transformation if those who were gravely impacted by human rights violations, are not recognised. They further indicated that the government has a duty to honour the live experiences and memories of victims and survivors, because this will work towards reinforcing the ‘Never Again’ campaign. He added that whilst governments come and go, the State’s responsibilities to fulfil its obligations to promote and protect human rights for all citizens will always remain. That with the submission of the TRRC report, it is now incumbent on the Barrow government to acknowledge and remedy the wrongs suffered by victims by providing redress and reparations for victims and their families.
“There is unanimity in views expressed that Government should fully implement the recommendations of the TRRC. For many, the TRRC was the only way through which the victims became aware of the truth. Therefore, government should not compromise the TRRC’s report, findings and recommendations. The recommendations are the bedrock for justice and reparations, in order to bring about institutional and legal reforms, effective reconciliation and trust building between the state and the people, for perpetrators of widespread human rights violations and abuses to be held accountable, and to ensure non-recurrence. The TRRC recommendations should therefore be implemented through the right processes, without favour or bias,” the CSOs stated in their white paper report.