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#National News

Gambia Takes Bold Step Establishing Hybrid Court for Jammeh-Era Crimes

By Sanna Camara

The Gambia’s Minister of Justice, Mr Dawda Jallow said the establishment of a Hybrid Court to try Jammeh-era crimes represents a bold step forward in the country’s pursuit of justice.

President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia for 22 years, after coming to power through a military coup in 1994. During this period, hundreds have been killed, disappeared, tortured and faced other forms of human rights abuse, as established by a truth-seeking commission that saw over 100 witnesses testify to give evidence over two year’s of hearing sessions.

The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Act, enacted as post-dictatorship effort to laid the groundwork for the country’s transitional justice program.

“From the inception of the TRRC to the submission of its final report, we bore witness to the courage and resilience of hundreds of individuals who bravely shared their stories of pain and suffering, but also, and perhaps more importantly, hope,” Minister Jallow said.

He spoke at the inaugural meeting of The Gambia-ECOWAS joint technical committee on the establishment of an internationalized court for the prosecution of human rights violations in The Gambia.

“By accepting these recommendations, the Government of The Gambia reaffirms its commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that those responsible for human rights violations are held accountable for their actions,” said Jallow.

However, he said the country recognizes that the domestic legal framework may not be sufficient to address crimes of such magnitude. The establishment of a Hybrid Court, therefore represents a bold step forward in their pursuit of justice.

“I stand before you with a sense of profound purpose to a cause that transcends borders and echoes the aspirations of all people, all over the world. Today, we take important steps in our collective journey towards justice, accountability, and healing—a journey that holds the promise of a brighter future for The Gambia and its citizens, and indeed, the entire community,” Jallow posited.


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