By Nelson Manneh
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), yesterday 5th February 2019, visited the office of the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations in Senegambia.
This is the first time the TRRC is visiting the center since its establishment in 2018. The aim of the visit according to the authorities of the TRRC, is to consolidate the relationship between the Center and the Truth Commission.
Baboucarr Njie, a board member, said they have been going through lots of reforms since the establishment of the Center in 2017; that Government has not given any financial support to the center despite the good collaboration they have with the Ministry of Justice.
Njie said the center was formed by a group of victims in the Gambia and the Diaspora, to discuss issues related to human rights violations, in the Gambia. “The Center is here to stay therefore Government needs to support it. The center has registered more than 800 victims and we have been working with the donations we had from different stakeholders in and outside the country, to support them,” he said. Njie said the aim of the Center is to support people whose rights have been violated; that they give support to the victim’s children by providing education, medical support and micro-finance loans for them to start small businesses.
Adelaide Sosseh, vice chairperson of the Truth Commission, said the TRRC’s visit to the Victim’s Center is a familiarization visit and a show of support to victims and the families they left behind, and on how to work with them in order to reach out to more victims.
Sosseh said justice needs to be restored to all those people who are affected and that the Center will help a lot in that area.
Isa Jammeh who works at Center said many people who lost their parents due to right violations during the former regime, need support to continue with their educational and other activities; that the office has registered most of these children; that as a member of the research team, they have moved from the urban to the rural areas, to discuss with those affected in those areas.
“The process needs inclusiveness. That is why we are making all effort to reach people affected in these areas,” she concludes.