The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations has issued a statement to express concern on the recent audio message of former President Yaya Jammeh to his supporters and party militants.
In the press statement issued on Monday January 13th 2020, the Center disclosed that Former President Jammeh reaffirmed to his supporters and party militants of his imminent return to the Gambia, citing a purported agreement he claimed was signed between himself, the Government of the Gambia, the United Nations, the African Union and ECOWAS in January 2017, to end the month long political impasse which was triggered by his refusal to step down after he lost the presidential elections.
The Centre calls on Government to ensure Jammeh's arrest and trial in case the former president decides to return; that failure to do so, Government will fail in their duty to uphold its obligation to the people of country as well as the international community in providing an effective remedy to victims, as well as in holding perpetrators of human rights violations to account.
"Former president, Yaya Jammeh's rule in the Gambia was tyrannical and brutal. He is a fugitive from justice and a subject of serious allegations of human rights violations as evident in the on-going TRRC," the release indicates. The release further pointed out that the former President has been accused of mass killings, sexual abuses, disappearance of persons without trace, the maiming/ torture of Gambians, Senegalese, Ghanaians, Nigerians and Americans; that his administration destroyed the lives, hopes and aspirations of many Gambians and this warrants them to call on the Government of Adama Barrow to arrest him if he steps foot in the country.
"This year, the Government of The Gambia filed a case against Myanmar at the ICJ over the genocide against Rohingyas, in a bid to end impunity. It is in the same spirit that we call on the Gambia Government to clearly affirm its commitment to cooperate with victims of former president Jammeh to arrest and prosecute him for his crimes, should he step foot in The Gambia. The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations will continue to work with relevant partners to facilitate justice to victims through national, regional and international mechanisms to ensure that peace continues to prevail in the country. Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done." The release concludes.