Following the protest march staged by the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations (GCVHRV) Monday called on authorities to put a halt to the activities of the former ruling party.
“[W]e are strongly recommending that the Government impose a ban or suspend the APRC party, until such a time that the ongoing Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is concluded and its recommendations implemented to enhance a smooth transitional justice process for us to reconcile and unite as a people and as a nation,” said the Victims’ Center in a preliminary statement issued at a news conference held at their headquarters in Kololi, some 17 km away from Banjul.
The former governing party’s mega demonstration, demanding the ‘immediate return’ of The Gambia’s former longtime ruler has caused an uproar among the victims and a good number of civil society groups. This prompted the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Aboubacarr Tambadou, to come up with a strong statement, warning that Yahya Jammeh will be prosecuted if he steps into the country.
As a non-profit organisation that was set up in the aftermath of the end of Yahya Jammeh’s two-decade long rule, the victims’ center has been making waves in championing the cause of victims of human rights violations committed under the previous regime.
In an attempt to re-echo their concerns, the center announced in the statement a planned March for Justice “to pressurise the Gambia government to prosecute the former President Yahya Jammeh for the gross human rights violations perpetrated by him and his henchmen.”
Scheduled for the 25th of January 2020, the peaceful procession will start from Westfield Monument to Buffer Zone in Talinding.
Addressing reporters, the National Coordinator of the Victims’ Center, Adama Jallow, said the center has been working to ensure that victims are put at the centre of the transitional justice process.
“We’ve been consistently working to ensure that victims are not re-traumatised by the transitional justice process,” he assured.
Jallow described the APRC’s show of force as “highly inconsiderate and insensitive” to the suffering of the victims.
The press conference was punctuated by some victims’ emotional outbursts, inundating their testimonies with tears – a situation that has left the entire audience with intense eyes.
The Chairperson of the Victims’ Center, Sheriff Kijera, underscored that there is no denying the fact that a lot of the truth about human rights violations that occurred in The Gambia between July 1994 and January 2017, has been unveiled through the TRRC public hearings.
“We have faith and belief in the TRRC,” he said while indicating that the families of those killed under the APRC regime will not abide by Jammeh stepping into the country as a free man…
The aprc should be showing remorse, be prepared to repent and comes to terms with reality. If they are forcefully bent on distabilizing the peace , the Party should be banned. Or they cooperate and accept that they were horrific in their wrongful dispensation of the rule of law during the past two decades.
Therefore change the name of the Party and assist the authorities in bringing to justice those of them who were proven to be responsible for the theft, human rights abuses, killing and maiming of innocent people.
We are now in a very sensitive phase of our political chronology, the effect of which will have negative impact on our aspirations and future co-existence if the truth and justice did not prevail in addressing this matter.