Monday, March 27

U.S. Under Secretary Uzra Zeya commends Gambia truth commission –

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Mrs Uzra Zeya, U.S. Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, has said that Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is a model worth saluting, as it incorporates reparation and prosecution.

Ms Zeya, who was on an official to visit The Gambia, disclosed during a meeting with President Adama Barrow that the US Agency of International Development (USAID) would re-establish itself in The Gambia and support the access to justice programme of the government in partnership with civil society organisations.

An official statement from the Gambian presidency said President Barrow emphasised the importance of reparation and access to justice in the country’s transitional programme, stating, “We want to adequately compensate the victims of injustices because most of them are breadwinners of their families, and it has taken a long time to get to where we are.”

He added that his government was working on establishing a hybrid court to prosecute perpetrators of heinous crimes, as indicated in the White Paper on the TRRC Report.

Acknowledging the encouragement from the U.S. government, President Barrow noted despite his government’s limited resources, it manages the citizens’ expectations by investing in social projects that meet their demands by creating job opportunities for the youth and generally improving the welfare of Gambians.

“Social projects help maintain peace and stability, and democracy cannot be without peace and stability,” President Barrow said.

The President informed Ms Zeya that he is a fan of term limits adding that lack of term limits is one of the problems in Africa’s governance and security environment.

While noting the strong political will to fight corruption, President Barrow also observed the challenging forces against it, but said he was happy with progress that has been made.