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    Gambia-Governance-Parliament

    Gambia: MPs adopt bill to probe Jammeh-era crimes

    APA-Banjul (The Gambia)

    Members of the Gambian National Assembly on Thursday adopted the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Bill meant to probe human rights abuses and crimes linked to former president Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years in power.

    The commission will investigate through testimonies by victims and confessions by perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, rape, and torture purportedly committed by close associates of the former president.

    The Bill was tabled in parliament by Justice minister, Abubakar Tambadou who said both perpetrators of abuse and their alleged victims would be encouraged to volunteer testimonies.

    He said although the objective of the commission to establish the truth about two decades of rights violations it is also with a view to promoting national reconciliation. 

    The Bill follows a nationwide sensitization tour in August about its proposed mandate ahead of the start to the proposed commission's work early next year.

    Parliamentarians urged the 11-member commission to stick to its mandate with the ultimate aim of ensuring unity and reconciliation while paving the way for the prosecution of crimes and serious human rights violations.

    The commission is looking to document human rights abuses during Jammeh’s years in office, which came to an end after losing a presidential election to current president Adama Barrow in December 2016.

    Jammeh who fled to Equatorial Guinea last January is variously accused of widespread human rights violations which include extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances.

    A day before its introduction to the National Assembly, Human Rights Watch warned that those found to have committed the most serious crimes between 1994 and 2017 should not benefit from an amnesty in accordance with international law and practice.

    The Bill in its current form permits the commission to grant amnesties to perpetrators who testify truthfully about their role in abuses.


    EJ/as/APA

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