By: Kebba AF Touray

The Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambedou, yesterday visited the Victims’ Center, where he held his monthly press conference with journalists. The visit was meant to show solidarity, commitment and partnership with the victims in their strive to providing justice to them and avert the reoccurrence of the gross human rights violations that happened in the past.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Sheriff Kijera expressed delight over the visit and stated that their consultative tour has availed them the opportunity to know more on the transitional justice program.

“In October we embarked on a nationwide tour and our recent engagements with stakeholders such as the Justice Ministry, National Youth Council among others, has helped us to reach out to most victims across the country and sensitize them on the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission and the transitional justice program and mechanisms, so that they can effectively partake in the TRRC”, he said.

This sensitization he noted, will encourage victims to take ownership of the Commission, with a view to providing truth and seeking remedies within the principles of reparation, specified by the TRRC Bill.

Kijera assured the Justice Minister of the competence of the Commission and cited that they will give their full support to the TRRC; that they will help amplify the voices of the victims far and wide to ensure that justice is served. He appealed to the Government and Minister to urgently look into the health conditions of some of the victims and provide them with the needed medical attention; that they are currently working with a team of psychologists courtesy of the German Government fund and are looking for more funds to provide psychological support to other victims, because the said fund nears expiry.

Mr Tambadou in his remarks, said the victims are a corner stone of the entire transitional project of the Government, which aims to avert the reoccurrence of human rights violations in the country. He assured them that their sacrifices would not go in vain.

“Our success will be measured by the fact that what happened here, will never happen again and that is the priority of the Government. That is why we are putting in lots of efforts in establishing this Commission”, said Minister Tambadou.

He said they want to know what happened before they can put in place mechanisms with a view to prevent it from happening again; that this process needs trust by the victims, perpetrators and the general public, and that they are cautious about their selection of Commissioners, which he noted has culminated in the appointment of Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow, as the head of the TRRC, based on his merit and competence.

“This is to make sure that every selection we make in the process, will only inspire trust, because that is key and significant. My presence here today is to show solidarity and our continued commitment and partnership with you the victims in this entire process and we will not relent until all of us are satisfied with our work”, he concludes

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