Gambia: 'I Take No Responsibility for the Actions of the Junta'

Former acting attorney general and solicitor general under Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC), Amie Bensouda, vehemently denied aiding and abetting the military junta, saying she takes no responsibility for the decrees used during the transition government nor does she take responsibility for the actions of the military.

The former Solicitor General while testifying before the TRRC on Tuesday states: "I take no responsibility for the actions of the military. And I take no responsibility of the decrees, I take no responsibility."

She claimed the military were doing whatever they deemed fit, adding "decree or no decree they would do what they wanted."

She claimed the military laws at the time were drafted and enforced by the junta members.

"It was created by them, it was enforced by them, it was amended by them when they saw it fit. In fact even where the decree said they could not do something, it did not prevent them from doing it because they have the power to do it."

Although she denied drafting the decrees, the renowned lawyer said decrees did not validate anything done by the military council, saying they did not need validation.

"Decrees provide a framework for them to operate in which they operated."

She was quizzed on why she would taint her hands in assisting the junta to draft the decrees knowing fully they may disregard it.

Bensouda responded saying, "I do not consider my hands to be dirty, I do not certainly consider my hands to be tainted."

She added the military did not need the decree as they were already in charge.

She emphasized that it was the situation that needed a decree to serve as a framework but not the junta.

She said people had a wrong impression about the junta members by thinking they were mediocre, adding that they had done their homework, they knew military rulers used decrees to rule.

She said the military junta would have eventually got someone else to draft a decree with or without her.

She in fact claimed some of them who helped to stabilise the situation deserved much more.

"For those of us who tried to stabilise the situation, I think we in fact are entitled to commendation, I feel neither tainted, by what happened nor the role I played and whatever I did was entirely consistent in my duty to the country and my duty as solicitor general and acting attorney general."

It is a general belief that the decrees were drafted to suit former leader Captain Yahya Jammeh and his fellow junta members.

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