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TRRC Suspends Hearing amid Rapid Surge in Coronavirus in Gambia

The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has announced an immediate suspension of public hearing due to recent rapid rising of Coronavirus cases in The Gambia.

The Commission is probing human rights abuses that occurred within the 22 years under the leadership of ex-ruler Yahya Jammeh’s rule.

“In the light of the growing seriousness of the Covid-19 situation in The Gambia, the Commission has decided to suspend its public hearings till further notice,” says the commission’s Chairman Lamin Sisay.

     Dr. Lamin Sisay

“The suspension will take effect immediately. The decision to suspend hearings was reached after careful consideration and consultations at the level of the Commission and between the Commission and the Ministry of Justice.”

He said at the time when the number of Covid-19 cases in the country is rising at an alarming rate, the Commission is deeply concerned about the safety of both Commissioners and staff of the TRRC, as well as the media partners, witnesses, security personnel, and indeed all members of the public.

“While the Commission is very keen on completing its work and submitting its final report and recommendations in good time, we are conscious of the fact that continuing our public hearings may put the lives of everybody concerned at risk of Covid-19 infection.

“We will therefore suspend the public hearings for now, and will inform the public as to when we will resume at the appropriate moment,” he said.

As of Monday, the country has a total confirmed cases of 671 with 13 deaths.

According to him, the various committees of the Commission will continue working on their various agendas during the suspension. The Commission will also continue working on putting together some aspects of the final report.

Chairman Sisay says such work has already started and will continue unabated.

“We are pleased to report that various mechanisms have been put in place and some modest progress is being made towards the compilation of the final report.”

“The Commission’s Secretariat will also remain partially open. All our various units will remain operational with some staff coming to work on a roster system and others working from home during the period of suspension.”

He assured that the TRRC remains fully committed to delivering on all aspects of its mandate as soon as humanly possible.

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