By Kebba Jeffang
Gambian President Adama Barrow, has presided over the launch of Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on Monday, October 15th 2018, with the Commission tasked to probe into human rights atrocities perpetrated by the former regime of Yahya Jammeh.
The International Criminal Court has also vowed that it will follow the proceedings with keen interest.
Eleven commissioners were sworn in on Monday, October 15 to carry out the probing task. They are: Lamin J Sise as chair, Ms Adelaide Sosseh as deputy chairperson, Ms Anna Ngalu Jones, Mr Mustapha Kah, Mr Abdourahman Sey, Ms Ma Nyima Bojang, Ms Amie Samba, Mr Lang Kinteh, Mr Jammeh Ceesay, Bishop James Yaw Allen Odico and Imam Ousainou Jallow.
President Barrow said the Commission has given Gambians a historic opportunity to rewrite history and bequeath a far safer place to her future generations. He said the Commission will also give the country an opportunity to heal, following decades of repressive rule.
“The TRRC serves as an opportunity of a rebirth and healing to the nation and to the victims, it provides an opportunity to establish the truth with regards to what they went through,” said Barrow.
“We must forge on as one people united in our diversity with the common plea that we can set aside our differences and confront our past while holding onto the promises of a brighter future”
Barrow promised that the Commission will have complete independence from the influence of the executive or any institution of Government.
“Let’s us stand together and say never again shall a few people oppress us as a nation. Never shall this beautiful smiling coast experience the oppression and tyranny of the minority against the majority,” added Barrow.
Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow said the Commission will succeed as it has no reason to fail.
Fatou Bom Bensouda, the Prosecutor at International Criminal Court (ICC) said her office will be following the developments with the Commission with ‘great interest.’
“ICC is prepared to undertake its independent and impartial mandate under the Rome Statute with conviction and dedication as it does in all situations where we have jurisdiction with full respect for the principles of complementarity,” she said at the launch of TRRC.
She said those responsible for alleged serious criminalities during the Jammeh regime must face justice in a properly constituted court of law that abides by and applies the highest standards of judicial administration.
“When confronted with atrocious crimes that shocked the whole humanity, there is no justifiable reason to look the other way or to entertain immunities,” Bensouda said.
Other speakers include the Justice Minister Aboubacarr Tambadou and the TRRC Chairperson, Lamin J. Sise.