The Gambia’s situation is a unique one. Change did not come through war. It came through elections. The security apparatus is not under the control of a rebel commander requiring ceasefire, ceasefire monitoring, encampments, demobilization and truth and reconciliation.

The security forces simply changed leadership. One commander-in-chief disappeared from the scene and another took over. The command and control structures automatically changed hands. The judiciary, the executive and the legislature were reconstituted. Hence what The Gambia is confronting is a reform and reconstitution agenda aimed at complete transformation of the architecture of the state or its reform according to the pace set by the new commander-in-chief. Most of the leaders who presided over the military takeover of 1994 are no longer connected to the armed forces or the security apparatus. The executive has full authority to shape or reshape the security apparatus.

The TRRC therefore is not operating under the threat of war. It is operating during peace time. Hence the fundamental objective is to give those living with wounds of injustice to have closure as a result of the acknowledgement of foul play by those who are classified as perpetrators. The second fundamental objective is to prevent recurrence. This paper is convinced that the two objectives are and should be the fundamental aim of the Commission.

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