Gambia: The TRRC and Its Mandate

Gambians claim that they want a new Gambia. This requires taking stock of the past to identify all shortcomings and then build the instruments and institutions necessary to prevent recurrence. Currently there are transitional institutions established to manage the process so that the country moves as an organised unit to address the problems of the past without jeopardizing national cohesion and healing. The TRRC is one of those transitional institutions aiming to facilitate protection and healing of victims. The Act establishes the following objectives for the Commission:

"The objectives of the Commission are to -

a) Create an impartial historical record of violations and abuses of human rights from July 1994 to January 2017, in order to

i) Promote healing and reconciliation

ii) Respond to the needs of the victims

iii) Address impunity, and

iv) Prevent a repeat of the violations and abuses suffered by making recommendations for the establishment of appropriate preventive mechanisms including institutional and legal reform

b) Establish and make known the fate or whereabouts of disappeared victims;

c) Provide victims an opportunity to relate their own accounts of the violations and abuses suffered; and

d) Grant reparations to victims in appropriate cases."

It is abundantly clear that the Commission has the responsibility to be victim centred. It should respond to the needs of victims and facilitate healing and reconciliation. This has happened in Rwanda. Foroyaa will find out whether the victims have adequate counselling.

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