Gambia Victims of Human Rights Violations Still Asking For Justice
Four years after its inception, the Centre for victims of human rights violations continues to ask for justice for the victims of rights abuses under former President Yahya Jammeh. Under the theme “Victims Remembrance Day”, the Centre on Saturday held its second annual general meeting.
Over 500 victims affiliated to the Centre were either directly or indirectly affected by the gross human rights abuses committed under Yahya Jammeh, yet unpunished. All these victims under the leadership of the Centre, seek justice for their love ones and that the laws of the land punish the murderers, the torturers, the rapists and anyone who abused the rights of a citizen sustain the regime of Yahya Jammeh.
With work still in progress at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC), many in The Gambia fear that the short span before the coming presidential election could jeopardize the quest for justice for the victims. Sheriff Mohammed Kijera who chairs the Board of Directors said the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations will ensure that justice prevails at the end of the TRRC process. “We will make sure that the Commission recommendations are fully implemented.”
Mr Kijera added that the Promotion and protection of human rights should be a collective responsibility. Gambians together with the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations have to uphold and defend the cause of human dignity. “This is our call to which we must all answer” he said.
The National Coordinator of the Victims Centre, Adama Jallow said the Centre has been at the forefront of raising awareness on different Transitional Justice mechanisms. Mr Jallow said the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations is a channel for victims to get justice. He recalled that the TRRC’s raison d’être is to give victims justice and the reparations they deserve.
“To ensure that justice is served for victims of human rights violations. We continue to have the full support of the victims’ community. We are together in this.”
The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations has been at the forefront of advocating for the rights of victims in The Gambia. The Centre has registered more than 1,022 victims so far.
John Charles Njie, the Chairman of The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Gambia (TANGO), said the victims are yet to get the justice and the closure they need.
“This nation has not been kind to you, we failed you as Victims of human rights violations. We could have done better, listened more and emphasized with you. You all deserved better.”
Mr Njie said the Administration of President Barrow and politicians are no longer concerned about Victims in seeking justice and closure. But the citizenry should not let the victims down like them. “We should help the Centre in seeking justice for all of their victims. They are our brothers and sisters.” He said
The Victim’s Centre has made several petitions in the interest of Victims to the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on the rejections of the draft constitution by the National Assembly. The Centre has since written to President Adama Barrow demanding justice for human rights violations for its victims.
Meanwhile, the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations continues advocating for justice for its Victims and ensuring that they are centered in all the transitional justice process. This, the Centre hopes, will enhance the “Never Again Campaign.”