Monday, December 4

Growing Support for Prosecuting Culprits of Jammeh Era Crimes, AfroBarometer

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A growing number of Gambians want perpetrators of crimes and human-rights abuses during former President Yahya Jammeh’s administration to be tried in court, the latest Afrobarometer study shows.

Over the past three years, the proportion of citizens in favor of seeking Jammeh’s extradition has also increased significantly. However, opinions are divided on the government’s decision to sell Jammeh’s properties and on whether he should be allowed to return to the country.

The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was established by Parliament in December 2017 as part of a broad transitional-justice mechanism to address human-rights abuses under Jammeh’s regime and prevent their recurrence. After two years of televised public hearings, the commission is expected to submit its final report to President Adama Barrow in September 2021. Although widely credited with highlighting past human-rights abuses, the commission has also been engulfed in controversies, including accusations of conducting a witch-hunt against Jammeh.

Key findings

? Almost three-fourths (73%) of Gambians say perpetrators of crimes and human-rights abuses during Jammeh’s regime should be tried in court, a 5-percentage-point increase compared to 2018

? Six in 10 Gambians (61%) say the government should seek the extradition of Jammeh, a 10-percentage point increase compared to 2018.

? More than one in four citizens (28%) say they or a member of their family suffered human-rights abuses under Jammeh’s regime

? Citizens expect the TRRC work to lead to a variety of outcomes, including national peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing (34%); accurate records of human- rights abuses of the previous regime (30%); prosecution of accused perpetrators (28%); and support for victims and their families to overcome long-held pain (16%)