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GAMBIA: GOVERNMENT MOVE CLOSER TO PROSECUTING JAMMEH-ERA CRIMES

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Stakeholders have begun the process of validating the “Special Accountability Mechanisms Bill” and the “Special Prosecutors Office Bill,” which would create legal frameworks for the prosecution of Jammeh-era crimes and guarantee justice is delivered “comprehensively and fairly.”

Attorney General Dawda Jallow stated that this approach necessitates the establishment of a Special Prosecutor’s Office, a Hybrid Tribunal, and the Special Criminal Division to prosecute domestic offenses as well as international offenses under international law.
On Monday, he informed victims and stakeholders that the government is working relentlessly to prosecute those who have the most responsibility for the human rights atrocities committed by former exiled President Jammeh from 1994 to 2016.

“We are committed to making sure that people’s voices are heard, that victims are at the center of our efforts, and that justice is served without bias or discrimination.” This pledge originates directly from the government’s political will, and it is one that we will maintain without hesitation,” the minister cautioned.
“The truth is that our pursuit of accountability and justice is not a solitary endeavor.” It is an important component of our country’s healing process. “Our goal is to create an environment in which Gambians can have faith in the rule of law, the government, and the institutions that are supposed to protect their rights,” he continued.
He advised stakeholders that the Barrow administration recognizes that obtaining justice and accountability is a complicated and comprehensive undertaking that includes not only prosecution but also reconciliation, healing, and restoring faith in our institutions.

“Our goal is to have a long-term impact on the Gambia’s justice system.” We recognize that this process is about more than simply drafting legal papers; it is about altering our society and creating a sense of fairness and responsibility in all aspects of our lives. It is about ensuring that the sad legacy of the past is not repeated, and that future generations may live in a society that respects their rights and liberties. We have put in place channels for compensation and victim assistance. We recognize that justice isn’t complete until the victims can recover and rebuild their lives. “Our goal is not only to hold perpetrators accountable, but also to make victims whole,” he said.

He said that the administration has gained Ecowas’ cooperation in the formation of a special accountability mechanism/hybrid tribunal to deal with cases with international dimensions.
The minister also noted that the path to justice and accountability has been difficult and lengthy, and that victims and their families have shown incredible patience.

“Their tenacity exemplifies The Gambians’ unwavering spirit, and it is our promise to them that we will see this process through to completion.” This perseverance, this commitment, is an inspiration to us all. We recognize the need of acting quickly while ensuring that justice is administered completely and equitably. “This approach allows us to strike a balance, ensuring that no one is above the law and that justice is available to all,” he told the audience.

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