Friday, February 3

Gambia seeks judicial support to try Jammeh era atrocities

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The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, on 13 December called on the Global Criminal Justice of the United States State Department, the UN and ECOWAS to support efforts of The Gambia Government in establishing a hybrid court to prosecute atrocities committed during the Jammeh administration.

“We know that there are challenges with Gambia’s capacity to undertake such complex judicial trials,” he said at a meeting in Washington, D.C. with Ambassador Beth Van Schaack of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State and Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Justice, Honourable Uzra Zeya.

Foreign Minister Tangara, who headed The Gambia Delegation to the 2nd U.S.–Africa Leaders’ summit made these remarks during a bilateral meeting with senior U.S. State Department officials. Minister Tangara observed that this kind of partnership and collaboration between The Gambia, the U.S., UN and ECOWAS is crucial because of the complexities associated with mounting such a high profile case and its implication to The Gambia’s national security. He said despite limited human and financial capacity including technical capabilities, The Gambia’s determination to bring perpetrators to justice is strong and unwavering.

The Gambian Foreign Minister further informed the U.S. delegation that the recommendations and the White Paper of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) were received with huge applause. He appealed for reparation, adding that families or children of victims need to go to school but they have nobody to give them financial support to continue their education. He said some victims also need overseas medical treatment. This he indicated would remain an important pillar of Gambia’s national healing process. “We need to bring closure to the victims and their families,” Foreign Minister Tangara posited.

On Myanmar, the Gambia’s Foreign Minister said The Gambia is committed to pursuing the Rohingya case to its logical conclusion and to seeing that justice is delivered for the long suffering Rohingya minority. He pointed out that The Gambia continues to face challenges and constraints with such a huge undertaking of delivering justice for victims.

Foreign Minister Tangara called on the international community to continue supporting The Gambia in making sure those perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity face justice. He said for there to be a peaceful and democratic world, justice must be served in cases of injustices as it obtained in the Jammeh era. Dr. Tangara said the aim of the Government of H.E. President Adama Barrow is to consolidate The Gambia’s status as the Human Rights Capital of Africa.

For her part, Ambassador Beth Van Schaack of the Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State, commended The Gambia for standing for justice, truth and accountability for the people of The Gambia and also for the Rohingya minority at the International Court of Justice. Ambassador Van Schaack assured Foreign Minister Tangara of the support of the U.S. Government in ensuring that justice is delivered for the people of The Gambia.

The Under Secretary for Civil Security, Democracy, and Human Rights and U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, hailed The Gambia’s achievements and leadership advancing international justice, human rights, democratic renewal and accountability. She affirmed U.S. commitment to continue partnering with The Gambia. Source: Embassy of The Gambia Washington, D.C.

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