A total of 108 cases has been heard by the Truth, Reconciliation & National Unity Commission in Seychelles to date, with over 200 witnesses having been called, an officer from the Commission said on Wednesday.
The Commission's communication and outreach officer, Tannia Labiche, told SNA via email that 425 cases have been registered, among which over 60 are complaints.
The cases were lodged from February 7 last year to February 9, 2020 -- the time frame set by the Commission.
The chairperson, Gabrielle McIntyre, said that the Commission has an extremely heavy workload and it has very limited resources.
"The Commission and staff will meet next week to discuss its workload and strategies to try and increase efficiencies and develop targets so that it remains on track to hearing all complaints within the mandated time frame. It will not be easy to do so but the Commission is committed to taking all measures within its power to comply with its three-year mandate," said McIntyre.
Set up in 2018 following the approval of the National Assembly, the Commission aims at providing the public with the opportunity to settle past political divisions and grievances that began with the 1977 coup d'état.
The Commission's mandate is to investigate complaints of alleged human rights violation committed in relation to the coup that happened in 1977 in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The ultimate aim is to bring closure to victims and perpetrators and to unite the people of the Seychelles around a common agenda going forward.
The Commission started hearing cases in August last year and has two and a half year left to complete their work. Having heard cases for six months, the Commission handed in the first interim report of the work carried out so far to President Danny Faure on Tuesday.
According to section 11(2) of the Truth, Reconciliation & National Unity Commission's Act 2018, the Commission is required to submit interim reports to the President every six months. The final report of the Commission will be made at the conclusion of all its enquiries.
Challenges encountered, lessons learnt, the number of cases registered and witnesses heard are some of the report's content. It also covers sessions undertaken by the Commission during its first six-month period from August 2019 up to the end of January.
In a press communique from State House, Faure "noted the contents of the first interim report, which outlines the Commission's experience in securing the resources required for it to operate efficiently and within the time frame of 3 years mandated for its work."
State House said that the report contains the schedule of hearings and the list of witnesses that have appeared before the Commission. The final report shall be made public by the president who will also lay it before the National Assembly.