Fabakary Tombong Jatta of the opposition Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) has challenged the independence of the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), casting doubt on the ability of one its members to deliver fairness.
He said TRRC Director of Research and Investigations, Alagie Barrow, is a coupist and should not have been appointed to serve in that post.
The leader of the former governing party was speaking Tuesday to reporters during a news conference held at his residence in Talinding, some 8 km away from Banjul.
“Do you want to tell me that in the absence of Alagie Barrow there are no decent and independent-minded Gambians? Why putting him there?” he quizzed.
The TRRC was launched last month by President Adama Barrow to investigate atrocities committed under the former APRC regime. Yahya Jammeh’s two-decade long rule was marked by enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings.
TRRC’s Alagie Barrow was part of Gambians who launched the attack on the Presidential Palace in order to put an end to the dictatorship. The events took place on the early morning of December 30, 2014 and led to the death of some of the attackers.
He said the TRRC is all about Yahya Jammeh’s and the APRC.
“Give it to credible people so that at the end we will see the results as credible,” he added. “We are of the view that the truth must be established but let us do it with a view of reconciling people. The keynote is to reconcile people.”
APRC also took a swipe at ECOMIG forces, accusing the Senegalese military of going beyond their mandate.
The regional forces entered into the country in 2017 after a political impasse that followed a dramatic U-turn made by Yahya Jammeh, rejecting the victory of Coalition 2016 Presidential candidate. He was subsequently forced to go into exile in Equatorial Guinea.
He evoked the case of Gambian who was arrested around Sibanor and “seriously beaten by Senegalese forces” serving under ECOMIG banner.
When asked whether he was able to corroborate the facts relating to the case, he said the APRC MP for Foni Bintang, Momodou Camara, was on the scene.
He said the Parliamentarian made attempts to talk to the Commander but to no avail.
“I trust my MP. We got the information about what happened. If this is not true, gov’t should clear the air,” he said.
He called on Senegalese forces under the banner of ECOMIG stationed within the country to treat National Assembly members with respect.