The newly constituted Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) will not provide the deterrent measures that is required to prevent jammeh era atrocities from occuring again in our country.
Jammeh and his henchmen unleashed havoc on Gambian people. It is not a case that Gambians waged war on one another. The case in point are criminal actions of a gangster squad disguised as a government that need to be investigated and the responsibilities laid at the foot of those who gave directives and those who acted on them. Hence a punitive justice is called for. To clearly sort out the crimes and punish delinquents appropriately.
Going into the theatre of TRRC will only blur the clear criminal actions of the former regime and give those crimes a level of collective responsibility which they are not. Rwanda and Sierra Leone are quite different cases. In Rwanda, a tribal onslaught was orchestrated by the hutu regime and unfortunately the wider Hutu community acted on those commands to kill Tutsi or hutu sympathisers. In Sierra Leone, a rebel movement drugged its youthful entourage into ravaging communities. In both cases, a direct link between the gov’t or rebel propaganda is established but the magnitude of public participation in the acts of genocide is the decisive factor. And this participation of all spheres of society in the genocide Rwanda and Sierra Leone warranted a TRC.
The Gambia’s case is evidently different. Even if the statistics of individual casualties of jammeh havoc points to an ethnic persecution, the wider public didn’t participated in the acts of crimes committed. There is no evident yet, beyond distaste for another ethnic thanks to jammeh’s rhetorics, that backs the notion that ethnic groups took arms against one another in the Gambia.
Therefore, the surest way to deter future adventures of Jammeh’s grabbing of power and the ensuing criminality, is pursuing a punitive justice instead of TRRC. We have to set an example for the future generations and seek justice for the victims of the jammeh’s violent regime and at the same time acknowledge(in form of reparation or kind) the pain the victims families are living with.