Coalition calls on TRRC to release its final report on Gambia killings

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The Jammeh2Justice Ghana Coalition, has called on the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) established by the Gambian government to investigate atrocities meted on civilians during the brutal rule of President Yahya Jammeh, to release its final report.

This, according to the Coalition, would help in an effort to seek justice for the victims and families of the Ghanaians and other migrants in Gambia who suffered the atrocities during the regime.

The Coalition said the call for the release of the report was necessary because the chain of events leading to the killings of the affected persons were unclear despite the confession of several Gambian soldiers who participated in the act in 2005.

Mr. William Nyarko, the Coordinator for Jammeh2Justice Ghana Campaign, made the call at a press conference in Kumasi, aimed at seeking justice for the disappearance of 44 Ghanaians in the Gambia.

West African countries which suffered the unlawful killings of its citizens in the Gambia by the brutal regime of Jammeh, were Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali and the Gambia itself.

In 2019, two Gambian soldiers working for a hit squad allegedly controlled by former President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, admitted to participating in the 2005 execution of 56 West African migrants, including 44 Ghanaians on the orders of the President.

Lieutenant Malick Jatta and Corporal Omar A. Jallow revealed to Gambia’s TRRC that the migrants were executed by the “Junglers” squad, a paramilitary force that took orders from Former President Jammeh, across the Gambian border in the Senegalese territory.

Mr. Nyarko said since the killings, civil society organisations and international groups had called for justice for the victims and their families, but nothing had been done.

“We need to bring closure to this case; we cannot allow impunity to reign.

Perpetrators of such heinous crimes must be brought to book.

Those who committed these crimes, investigations must be done and they should be prosecuted,” he said.

Mrs. Regina Amanfo, the Project Campaign Manager at Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), said the Coalition followed a wider campaign effort by The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations and other local and international human rights organizations to ensure that Jammeh and members of his regime were brought to trial in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Mr. Martin Kyere, the Spokesperson for the Survivors and Victims’ Families, said following the conclusion of the work of the TRRC, they were hoping that the TRRC would release its final report as it announced in June this year.

Unfortunately, he said, the TRRC had given excuses about its failure to release the final report.

He revealed that, three weeks before the TRRC was to release its report on September 30, former President Jammey’s party announced an alliance with President Barrow’s party to contest Gambia’s presidential election in December 2021.

Mr. Kyere said the TRRC again failed to release the final report on September 30, however, the TRRC did not commit itself to any date by which it would release its report.

He added that the TRRC in a press release stated that it had postponed the release of the final report indefinitely.

Mr. Kyere said the continued excuses by the TRRC was a neglect of its duty and the excessive delay in releasing the report was a deliberate attempt to deny them the justice they deserved.

He, therefore, called on the National Assembly of the Gambia, UN Secretary General, Chairman of ECOWAS, Chairman of the African Union, as well as all stakeholders in international justice to call the TRRC to release the final report as a matter of urgency.

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