By Mama A. Touray
Solo Sandeng Foundation, on Friday, observed its seventh Anniversary of the April 14th peaceful protest led by the late Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
“The April 14th peaceful protest remains a symbol of hope and a reminder of the power of peaceful protests in effecting change. We salute the courage and determination of the Gambian people and stand with our compatriots in the continuing struggle for democracy, justice, and human rights,” The foundation said.
The statement added that the foundation cannot forget the surviving protesters who continue to suffer the physical and psychological consequences of their participation in the protest, calling for their healthcare and reparation to be addressed as a matter of urgency, and the wider transitional justice program must be fully supported to ensure that all victims of human rights abuses are given the justice they deserve.
However, the foundation further stated that on the occasion of the 7th commemoration of the April 14th protest, they are caused to remember the brave men and women who took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the authoritarian regime that had ruled over The Gambia for far too long, Equally, caused to reflect on the role their genuine sacrifice and determination played in bringing about the necessary socio-political change that has advanced political and civil rights in the country.
“Thanks to their efforts, The Gambia has registered significant improvements in the areas of political and civil rights, including the restoration of press freedom, the establishment of an independent and impartial judiciary, and the creation of a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to investigate Human Rights abuses committed under the previous regime.”
Meanwhile, the Foundation underscored the significant strides by the government at the instance of the Ministry of Justice to implement the TRRC recommendation on prosecutions and reparations which aims to address victims’ plights and aspirations for justice and additionally recognized the need for more effort towards guaranteeing, promoting, and protecting the civil and political rights of all in The Gambia.
The foundation went on to say that they are committed to actualizing the transitional justice agenda which aims to strengthen the social fabric through social cohesion initiatives while reaffirming their commitment to legislative and institutional reforms, especially in the security sector.