Friday, December 2


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President Adama Barrow’s Deputy Youth Adviser Saihou Mballow has accused Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) of operating outside its operational mandate. According to Mballow, the commission has been legally mandated to probe human rights abuses committed during Jammeh’s rule, dating back from 22n July 1994 to January of 2017. But according to Mballow, the commission has in recent past, allegedly operated outside its operational mandate by discussing issues relating to President Barrow’s three years rule, which was a subject of protest march action spearheaded by the movement called three years jotna.

“The TRRC is not legally mandated to probe into events that led to the three years jotna protest. That’s outside their mandate. Their mandate is confined to Jammeh’s rule and not Barrow’s rule,” Mballow told Freedom Radio Gambia’s prime Leral show.

Tree years jotna, whose membership are mainly the supporters of the United Democratic Party, had been organizing protest marches calling for Barrow’s resignation. The disbanded group has accused Barrow of not honoring his three years transitional rule. Its members were arrested and charged with rioting, among other charges.

The government recently decided to drop the charges against the leadership of the three years movement.

In a recent TRRC sitting, the Commission’s Lead Counsel Essa Faal, raised the issue of the three years jotna protest march. Some of the protesters that group had claimed that they were maltreated by the security forces.

Faal has reaffirmed the need for Gambia’s Never Again campaign to be enforced and avoid a replica of what happened during Jammeh’s rule.

“I think it is wrong for the TRRC to meddle into issues that is outside their mandate. This commission has been tasked to help reconcile the country, they should avoid anything that would cause public distrust into the commission. President Barrow’s three years rule is not within the TRRC’s mandate,” Mballow remarked.


According to Mballow, Ousainou Darboe, Gambia’s former Foreign Minister and Vice President was the main brain behind the setting up of the commissions under Barrow’s new administration. Mballow has accused Darboe of betraying Barrow’s trust and confidence.

“It was Ousainou Darboe, who recommended the commissioners appointed in the Janneh Commission, the Constitutional Review Commission, and the Truth Commission TRRC). Darboe has an agenda, his agenda is political, his agenda is to build a political cloud for himself so that he could ascend into the Presidency. He has betrayed President Barrow, he has installed his loyalists and supporters into key positions in the government and the commissions, he is likely going to appoint some of them judges if he wins the elections. But President Barrow is going to win the coming elections. Victory is ours,” Mballow said.

Mballow added that Darboe’s political game plan was to use his position in government to capture the state.

“Darboe’s supporters are holding key positions in the government. We know them, we are watching, some of them are not loyal to the government. God has President Barrow’s back, they can’t do anything to him, he is working towards the national interest,” Mballow added.

Responding to Darboe’s recent criticism, branding Barrow’s government as a criminal government, Mballow said Darboe lacks the moral authority to make such comments.

“The last time I checked, there is no official, who has been convicted serving in Barrow’s government. There is no criminal in Barrow’s government. Ousainou Darboe is a convicted criminal. He has a criminal record. He was jailed during Jammeh’s regime. There is no tax dodger in Barrow’s government. Darboe has been cited for tax evasion. If we are talking about criminality, he is a convicted criminal,” Mballow remarked.

Mballow has branded Darboe as a confused politician with no principles.

“Ousainou Darboe is a confused politician. Darboe of all people is now calling Momodou Sabally, as his commando. Sabally was the Secretary of the Mama Singhateh Commission that cited him (Darboe) for tax evasion. Sabally insulted his own Mandinka tribe, Sabally had also served as Jammeh’s Presidential Affairs Minister, Secretary General of the APRC party, this was the rude Sabally, who confronted us at the United Nations prior to the change of government, where he had a bitter argument with Omar Bah. The same Momodou Sabally is on record for having bastardized Darboe’s UDP party, that Darboe should not be elected as Gambia’s President. If Darboe can dignify and idolize such a former Jammeh enabler, that tells you that Darboe doesn’t believe in anything, he is just looking for people that he can use for his own political adventurism,” Mballow told me.

On Darboe’s claims that he is going to be the winner of the coming elections, Mballow said Darboe has long been a political dreamer.

“He has been making such comments in past elections held under Jammeh’s rule. Darboe cannot win elections in this country. All I know is that the NPP is going to win. Darboe has been contesting elections without winning. I was part of the UDP. His claims are not new to us. He is good at dreaming, anyone can dream. Victory is ours,” Mballow remarked.

Mr. Mballow has called for political civility in the country. He has also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to fighting crime and ensuring peace and stability in the country.

Written by Pa Nderry M’Bai