Saturday, December 3

NHRC chair interrogate Government’s effort in renaming Arch 22

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Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Emanuel Daniel Joof has interrogated Gambia government’s efforts in renaming 22nd July Memorial Arch to Never Again Memorial Arch as recommended in the government`s white paper on recommendations of Truth, Reconciliation, Reparation Commission (TRRC).

Joof was recently speaking at the close of a three-day conference at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara international conference center on accelerating the effective implementation and monitoring of the Government white paper, on the TRRC.

It could be recalled that this was a recommendations submitted to president Adama Barrow and the Attorney General by the TRRC. The recommendation was considered and was part of the 263 approved by the Government in the White Paper published on Wednesday, 25th May 2022.

However, during the submission of the recommendation in May, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda A Jallow said government will rename Arch 22 to ‘Never Again’ in memory of victims of Jammeh and will renovate it and erect a wall with the names of Jammeh’s victims.

“When will the 22nd July Memorial Arch be renamed to Never Again Memorial? After the recommendations of the truth commission it was stated that it should be renamed within six months but where are we” Emmanuel quizzed.

This question was raised during discussion on the topic, ‘beyond the government white paper on the TRRC recommendations, and what must be in place for effective and strategic implementation.’

Chairman Joof added that there are laws that need to be reformed and the government must have a clear road map, and there has to be a clear strategy as to how they are going to implement the white paper.

He said this should be communicated as the roadmap will help people understand how the prosecution will be done.

Highlighting the work of NHRC as the monitoring body of the implementation process the veteran lawyer said: “We engage the TRRC secretariat to have more ideas about the commission and met the Ministry of Justice and develop way forward.”

He recalled that on February 16 and 17 before the release of the white paper they held a convergence on the topic ‘beyond the submission of the TRRC report, what next for effective implementation and monitoring of the recommendations.’

He said the convergence was to influence the white paper that was to be released by the government.

Joof said that was an opportune moment to raise awareness and mobilize partnerships for the next phase of the TRRC.

He stated that the convergence was to ensure that no one is left behind.

He said victims, women and other vulnerable groups, participated in the discussions and underlined their roles as well as expectations of the government white paper.

Joof went on to say that they have identified the people to be in the monitoring group and their term of reference, adding that they will have a caravan to last on November 8, 2022 to reach all regions and raise awareness on the TRRC recommendations and the government’s white paper.

He concluded that it is imperative that Civil Society Organisations play a pivotal role in the implementation of the recommendations if they are to be successful.