By: Alieu Jallow
The Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) in collaboration with International Centre for Transnational Justice (ICTJ) and civil society organizations on Friday 24th January 2020, held a day long consultation meeting on reparation for the victims of Yahya Jammeh’s administration.
The consultative meeting aims to update and inform victims of the TRRC and the reparation process, providing policy makers and victims an in-depth process and regulations of reparation and as well managing victims’ expectation in terms of reparation.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Mrs. Adelaide Sosseh Gaye Deputy Chairperson of the TRRC said the meeting brings together representatives of civil society organizations, victims’ and victims’ families from different regions of the Gambia to dialogue with policymakers and community based organisations on reparation issues. She said the stakeholders meeting will give victims and civil society organisations the opportunity to discuss the policy and regulations on reparations proposed by the TRRC, before submission to the Ministry of Justice. The discussions will specifically be on issues of victims registration, general perceptions about reparations and reparation measures that are responsive to victims needs; implementation mechanisms that reflect victim’s contextual realities in different parts of the country and the role of the victims and CSO in the implementation of reparations.
She extends gratitude to the ICTJ for leveling the ground by holding numerous Bantaba (community) meetings with victims across the country thus compiling a report for the victims which was submitted to the TRRC in December 2019.
Speaking on behalf of International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Mr. Didier Gbery head of programs made emphasis on the significance of reparation noting that reparations are important to victims because they are often seen as the most direct and meaningful way of receiving justice. ‘Yet, they are often the last-implemented and least-funded measure of transitional justice’, he posited. Mr. Gbery said the daylong meeting will also make reference of past lessons learned from other countries therein providing an update to policy makers, victims and civil society organisations. He concluded by thanking the TRRC for the cordial working relationship during past year and half.
The meeting will help increase the understanding and broader discussion around reparation and map out strategies to improve outreach programs that will ensure victims are informed and consulted especially those living in remote areas.