I have no objection to Samateh’s view point. I am with the Proposition that there are certain Norms, Values and Moral Ethics that all Societies must live and Sustain itself with.These Norms help regulate a given Society’s Individuals and Groups into a Reasonable, Orderly, and Predictable enclave within a given geographical place. It is these Norms that guide the Individual and Group’s through their interactions and transactions at a micro and macro level with minimum conflict or violence. Where the Norms break down, “Anomie” or Normlessness takes over either temporarily or intermittently in the form of Conflict and or Violence. No one Nation State or Society has a monopoly of Having Norms or being in a state of Anomie. The Concepts of Truth and Reconciliation should Not be confused with the Concept of Justice, or Due Process and Equal Protection. Under the Truth and Reconciliation, the Victims and the Perpetrators are not in an Adversarial Contest or Battle in an Open Court. However, they are infact, in a Public Court of Repentance and Transformative Journey of Baptism by Confession, Self Disclosure and Punishment for Transgressing against a given Societie’s Norms, and Values. It is a Process, not an that would Resolve and Mitigate all feelings and pain of all victims at once and in a uniform and instantly. Nor is it meant to instantly cut out the Emotional and Physical anguish the Victims or Victim’s Family, Friends and Relatives have. It is meant to Act as a Therapeutic and Mitigating Venue or “Bantaba” where traditionally, elders father to resolve Conflicts within our Community. The Concept of Justice, Due Process and Equal Protection Before the Law, is one of Adversarial Contest between the Victim and the Accused by Proxy, that is, Attorney V. the Prosecutor with the Judge acting as a Referee to guide the Process within Established Rules and Regulations (established norms). The Adversarial Contest or Battle inherit with the Concept of Justice or Due Process within a Court Setting, I would argue is not suited to handle the type of our present predicament in the Gambia. The courts are not equipped with the qualified personnel, nor does it have the means of carrying out such an expensive endeavor to go through the Potential hundreds of Potentially guilty by association Individuals who would be implicated by others who may be by definition more involved in the alleged crimes against their fellow Gambians. What Gambians must be concerned with, as much as those of the Victims and their Families and Relatives need for Justice, and Closure, is the Real and Appearance that Justice is been applied Equally and Fairly to all and Not to a Select Section or Group within the Gambia while others “Equally Guilty” or are Victims are left to the Whims of those in Power. The Concept of Truth and Reconciliation is one of Restorative Justice as Opposed to Punitive Justice. Truth and Reconciliation is more of a Healing and Forgiveness Process as Opposed to an Eye for an Eye and a Pound of Flesh…Such an approach would temporarily satisfy the Victims and their Families and Relatives. But in the Long run, it reaches a deminishing return and leaves the Victims devoid of the prior satisfaction and become better at the feeling that they are still not healed or come to terms with their loss. How many times as a kid or an adult, have we retaliated against those who hurt us, and then later feel remorse but cannot undo the deed? We must as a Nation State and a People demand that Justice be done in a manner that is Culturally and Socially Acceptable and Meaningful to the Victims, Families and Relatives’ Emotional and Psychological State. This would require a Deliberate and Careful Process that involves and encourages the Participation of a Cross Section of the Victims and Non Victims alike, the Input of the Accused and their Families, Relatives and Neighbors. This would require a Decentralized and Highly Transparent and Accessible Process that is Non Partisan and Non Ethnic Group Based. It Needs to Pass the Test of Zero Witch Hunting Adventures of Selective Justice. The Composition and Make Up of the TRC Members Should Reflect the Gambian Ethnic Groups and Society. TRC Members Should be Trustworthy Individuals who are willing to be brave enough to Make the kind of Decisions that are Not for Popularity or Profit. TRC Members Should be from all Levels of the Gambian Social Strata and Background. Inorder words, they should be able to Work Independently without the Influence and Interference of the stakeholders, the politicians, the media, business man, and others with deep pockets. In a nutshell, The Gambia and Gambians need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as much as they need Justice. How it is Put together, Managed and Implemented would require a lot of Thought, Process and in-depth Transparency at all levels.
Sidi, what are you trying to say here? listen to yourself here: “Truth and Reconciliation is more of a Healing and Forgiveness Process as Opposed to an Eye for an Eye and a Pound of Flesh…Such an approach would temporarily satisfy the Victims and their Families and Relatives. But in the Long run, it reaches a diminishing return and leaves the Victims devoid of the prior satisfaction and become better at the feeling that they are still not healed or come to terms with their loss”
Are you implying TRC is a good thing for healing process but at the end it has no usefulness. Very confusing statements. if there is no long term benefits as you implied here, then why we should have TRC?
Here is another confusing statements: “The Concepts of Truth and Reconciliation should Not be confused with the Concept of Justice, or Due Process and Equal Protection. Under the Truth and Reconciliation, the Victims and the Perpetrators are not in an Adversarial Contest or Battle in an Open Court. However, they are infact, in a Public Court of Repentance and Transformative Journey of Baptism by Confession, Self Disclosure and Punishment for Transgressing against a given Societie’s Norms, and Values”.
what punishment are you talking about? In the first quote, you talked about TRC as healing process and forgiveness then in the second quote, you talked about confession, self disclosure and punishment for transgressing against a given societies norms and values. Why would you call for punishment since you stated that it is healing process as opposed to an eye for an eye. What a demented and confused statement! You are totally confused here, with this kind of confused mindset, this is why you always write bigotry statements because you lack intelligence to put sensible statements.
I hope you rectify yourself or at least listen to sensible people. But hey, democracy is about freedom of speech. You are entitled to express your ignorance here so that people like me will put sense in you.
I disagree with your notion of restorative justice as the one applicable to the Gambia’s case best pursued through TRC analog south africa. I think a punitive justice is the right path here pursued in the conventional courts. As foday Samateh pointedly asked “to reconcile who with whom”?, I also believe that crimes committed were not yet genocide or racial annihilation. They were state sanctioned criminal crimes against individual Gambians , for which there must be retributive justice, in order to reinstate the state’s principal role of protecting the individual’s dignity. Act of impunity as in these cases must not be settled via TRC, because elements and source of crimes emanates from individuals entrusted with the protection of people’s lives and the sanctity of human life.