My fear is that the ambitions of Mr Jallow will blow the legal parameters for setting up a TRRC out of proportion. I didn’t read any where that TRRC is mandated to create a better Gambia nor am I in clue about why the scope of area Mr. Jallow wants to incorporate into the TRRC agenda need such an extension.
Of course, there are many interpretations possible from the TRRC-law enacted by the national assembly and one can extend the mandate therein endlessly. But I think Mr. Jallow needs to exercise restraint and strictly abide by the letter of the TRRC law, which is specifically designed to treat the atrocities of Jammeh. Nothing else.
The other areas mentioned above as priority areas for TRRC, are in fact not areas under discussion or stipulated in the TRRC formal law. Sensitizing the people about ethnic, religious bias for example are not the business of TRRC. There are other institutions in the country being paid to ensure the country is managed based on the premise of rule of law and all equal before the law. Furthermore, if the gov’t wished to set up such a body like civic awareness council, they should do so and that should be totally different from TRRC in meaning and assignment – the former permanently and the later temporarily!
Finally, my worry is that Mr. Jallow and TRRC architects are wary of the Gambian people they are sworn to serve. By compartmentalizing critics into lose cannons and disgruntled fellow citizens, Mr Jallow’s aforementioned update sounds and appears to me as settling scores with the many Gambians who have rightly or wrongly called the whole exercise into question. Perceiving is crucial. If Mr Jallow start by now to dismiss many concern Gambians, who are not impressed by the rationale behind TRRC, as not concerned with the aspect of “never again”, then the TRRC is already embarking on a thorny perilous journey.
I am those who strongly call the need for TRRC in Gambias case into question. The atrocities committed were committed by no more than 200 Gambians in the position power against countless powerless fellow citizens. These 200 Gambians need to be probed and let justice take it’s course. There was no ethnic massacre in Gambia. There was no religious cleansing in Gambia. There was no regional war within the country and finally no civil war.
What happened in Gambia was a coup d’etat and 22 ensuing years of terror by a handful of mens directing this terror. For such there are precedents. The Nuremberg trials is a casebook. Hitlers cohorts were brought to justice and Germany was then brought onto the path of democracy without a socalled TRRC. Instead the laws of the land was rigorously adapted and rule of law implanted. Beside that, the atrocities of Hitler were laid bare for all to see and perpetrators punished.
My opinion is that the Gambia should investigate the Jammeh terror completely, punish the perpetrators through retributive justice, rigorously change the laws, set-up a national civic council and entrench rule of law as deterrence against future tyranny.