Government Pays D50 Million To Trust Fund Account of Jammeh’s Victims
The Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr M. Tambadou, has announced on Monday, the payment of fifty million Dalasis by The Gambia Government into the trust fund account recently created by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). The funds are meant to help the healing process of victims of human rights violations under the regime of former president Yahya Jammeh.
Tambadou said the money was part of the proceeds from the sales of assets belonging to the former president, who he claimed, was the pillar in instituting dictatorship in the country under his 22-year rule – from 1994 to 2016.
“Today, almost one year into the TRRC’s public hearings, the government is fulfilling its promise to grant reparations for the victims of human rights violations and abuses within the mandate of the TRRC. Therefore, on behalf of His Excellency, Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia and on behalf of the entire government, it’s with great pleasure that I announce to you the decision of the Government of The Gambia to contribute to the TRRC’s Victims’ Trust Fund an initial amount of D50 million with immediate effect,” he disclosed at a press conference in Banjul.
“Consequently, the government deems it most fitting and just, that reparations for his victims should be granted directly from his ill-gotten wealth and assets. Hence, the payment of this 50 million Dalasis from the proceeds from sales of his assets.”
He maintained that the government will continue to sell Jammeh’s assets as recommended by the Janneh Commission. According to him, task forces were established for government to determine which assets are to be sold and those to be retained for government’s purpose.
“We thought that since he was the central pillar in the infrastructure of terror under his leadership, he will pay from his own pocket the reparations to the victims,” he said in responding to a question.
Tambadou said the government gets a lot of international support to recover the assets of former president from all parts of the world.
The Chairman of the TRRC, Lamin J. Sise, said victims deserve such support from all Gambians. “D50 million is a very splendid contribution to be made by the government to the reparations fund that we have established.”
According to him, this will help in assisting the healing and reconciliation process.
“The victims deserve this kind of attention. They are the ones who suffered enormously under the 22 years of brutality that we have heard in the proceedings at the TRRC. Those victims cannot be forgotten. I trust that given the nature of our people, of our country, you can see how people are responding in helping those victims. At the end of the day, every Gambian is a victim under the brutal regime…”
The Chairman of The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations, Sheriff Kijera, said reparations is a serious business for the TRRC. He urged the private sector to own up the process.
“We commend the government’s efforts and commitment to the TRRC, and we thank the government immensely for the D50 million Dalasis that is going to be paid to the victim’s trust fund today”.
The Government of The Gambia established the TRRC to investigate and establish an impartial historical record of human rights violations from 1994 to January 2017. It began its public hearings on the 7th of January 2019 and since then, several alleged perpetrators have confessed and explained how they carried out atrocities on various victims – citizens and non-citizens. According to several of the alleged perpetrators, the former president was directly involved in the human rights violations as he was the one that gave them authority to execute the atrocities which led to gruesome killings and tortures, mysterious disappearances without trace and illegal detentions.