Gambia: TRRC Executive Secretary Resigns

The Executive Secretary of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has resigned to President Adama Barrow.

When contacted by Foroyaa, Dr Baba Galleh Jallow confirmed the news and referred the reporter to his write-up on his Facebook timeline.

Below is what he wrote on his timeline published in the afternoon of Tuesday, 15th June 2021

"YES, IT IS TRUE

Dear Family and Friends,

I wish to confirm that I have tendered my resignation to the President and given him notice that I will be leaving my position as Executive Secretary of the TRRC with effect from July 31, 2021.

The mandate of the Commission expires on June 30 and according to our schedule, the final report and recommendations would have been submitted to the President before July 31. As at this time, the Legal Team assisted by two consultants and a team of legal assistants and our Research and Investigations Unit are working closely with Commissioners to put together the final report. My office is not directly involved in the drafting of the report.

The Secretariat will still remain open for a few more months after July 31 to wrap up some administrative matters and I believe that our able Deputy Executive Secretary and the remaining staff are more than equal to that task. I will be available to offer any support and advice they might need.

I think my substantive service with the TRRC is completed and I need to start looking ahead in terms of career matters. Hence the early notice that I will be quitting on July 31, God willing.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who have worked so diligently to make sure that our promise that failure was not an option is realized. Every single person who worked at the TRRC contributed significantly to the success of the Commission and I thank each and every one of you wholeheartedly. May God bless you and your future career paths.

Also many thanks to the majority of the Gambian public who have encouraged us from the very beginning when many doubted our capacity to make anything significant of the TRRC. Today, thanks to God and to their support and confidence, we have literally set up and operated the most successful truth commission in the history of truth commissions in the world. This has been affirmed by many international media and experts on truth commissions and transitional justice. We are happy to note that TRRC was set up by Gambians and staffed exclusively by Gambians with the exception of one South African technical support assistant who worked with our psycho social support team.

To everyone, and especially our Gambian compatriots with the UNDP TJ team, we say thank you and God bless.

Now we all proceed to ensure that the TRRC recommendations are implemented and that Never Again shall we have dictatorship or rampant human rights violations and abuses in this country.

God bless The Gambia and all Gambians and their families and friends everywhere."

The TRRC was established in 2018 with the mandate to investigate past human rights violations that occurred between July 1994 and January 2017. Since its establishment, Dr Baba Galleh Jallow has been the Executive Secretary of the commission. Dr Jallow while serving the commission he resigned from his teaching job at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania purposefully to serve his country.

Until his resignation, Dr. Jallow was an assistant professor of African and World history at La Salle. Prior to joining the La Salle faculty in 2015, Dr. Jallow taught African history and was director of the African Studies Program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Upon his invitation to come home and serve as Executive Secretary of the TRRC back in the fall of 2017, Dr. Jallow sought and was granted a two-year leave of absence by La Salle University to enable him to take up the position. However, in a recent communication, the University explained that it would not be able to extend Dr. Jallow's leave of absence beyond fall (September) 2020 when it expires.

Part of Dr. Jallow's letter of resignation to La Salle University's Dean of Arts and Sciences read: "As per the terms of my leave of absence, I was supposed to return to La Salle University in fall 2020. However, due to the fact that my work here requires at least an additional year of service to The Gambia's Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, I will not be in a position to do so. For that reason, and because you have indicated in a recent email that my leave will not be extended . . . please allow me to tender my resignation from my teaching position at La Salle University's Department of History and the School of Arts and Sciences with immediate effect. Please also allow me to extend my very sincere gratitude to La Salle University and in particular my colleagues at the Department of History for all the kind support they have rendered me during my period at the University."

The commission has ended its public hearings and is yet to submit its report which shall contain their findings and recommendations to the President.

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