Tomorrow, Saturday marks 29th anniversary of 11th November 1994, the day the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) Junta ordered the unlawful execution of some soldiers who were accused of attempting to overthrow the Government. In the same vein, there were several arrests, tortures, detention and subsequent charges and convictions. This unfortunate incident has impacted both direct and indirect victims with so many challenges such as psychological trauma, loss of properties, unlawful dismissal, health complications and so on.
For more than two decades, victims of this tragedy were unable to demand the Justice they deserve. With the emergence of the Truth Commission, the truth about how the soldiers were brutally executed, tortured, and detained we’re revealed, which gave the victims’ families some form of closure in knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Following the submissions of the TRRC report and recommendations to the government for the prosecution of key perpetrators, which has been part of the Government White paper, we hope the victims and their families will get the justice they deserve.
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In commemoration of this day, we call on the Government through the Ministry of Justice and other relevant Stakeholders such as the National Human Rights Commission to ensure the full implementation of the TRRC recommendations and continue searching for the remains of the remaining soldiers, who were improperly buried at the Yundum Barracks so that they can have a proper burial.
Finally, we would like the Government to fulfil its promises of building a state-of-the-earth Forensic Laboratory for the identification of all exhumed bodies.
In conclusion, we would like to thank the National Human Rights Commission for taking up the responsibility to monitor the implementation of the TRRC recommendations by the Government. In the same vein, we would also like to thank all Local, Regional, and international partners for their unflinching support in ensuring a successful TJ process in the Gambia.
The Victims Center will continue to fight for the rights of victims, to ensure justice, and to promote the NEVER AGAIN SLOGAN.