The Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission has hinted that the government has failed to deliver on its promise to contribute an extra 50 million dalasis for the reparations to victims of Human Rights abuses under Yahya Jammeh’s regime.
In 2019, the government of The Gambia contributed 50 million dalasis to the Reparations aspect of TRRC. The government then promised to contribute an additional 50million to be disbursed for the victims of Jammeh.
This means that the Truth-Seeking Commission would now have to rely upon other support from within and outside to fulfill part of its mandate on victims’ reparations.
“The promised was not kept for reasons that were out of our control. But the monies that were within our control, we were very specific about the way that it would be spent. We put aside monies for the payment of urgent interim reparations. And these urgent interim reparations focus on medical treatment, educational support, and, where possible, livelihood support,” said Mrs. Adelaide Sosseh, Deputy Chairperson of the TRRC.
Although the TRRC reparations totaled over D 205 million, there was a shortfall of D 168 million. However, according to Adelaide Sosseh, the TRRC has been reaching out to Gambians at home and abroad, and the response has been great so far.
“We reached out to the Gambia public, and the ‘Diaspora’ and the responses from the diaspora have been phenomenal. When we went on the Diaspora engagement, we were able to raise 899,000 dalasis,” she said
Mrs. Sosseh confirmed that the government is establishing an independent reparations commission to continue with the reparation of victims. She said the TRRC reparation committee had guidelines focusing primarily on victims who suffer. She said the highest amount to be paid to victims is D 600,000.
“The reparation has got the principle of fairness, non-discrimination, and ensuring that people get their right dues. Obviously, we cannot bring back life, and no payment can bring back a life or reduce the pain and the hurt, so reparations are strictly symbolic,” she said
She said victims’ perpetrators are not part of the reparation and are not entitled to any reparation scheme.
The Truth Commission would present or submit its final report to the President on the 30th of July, 2021.