By, Kebba Ansu Manneh
Karim Jammeh, a survivor, and victim of the April 10/11, 2000, student protest have slammed the government’s seventy-five million dalasi (75 Million) budgetary allocation for payment of reparations for the victims of former President Yahya Jammeh as a mockery and a slap in the face of the victims and victims’ families who suffered for 23 years without closure.
He observed that if the government is serious about the plights of the victims it wouldn’t have reduced the one hundred and sixty-eight million dalasi (D168 Million) benchmark earlier set by the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).
Jammeh who is still enduring the pains of the brutality of the former regime of Yahya Jammeh was shoot in his ankle during the nationwide student protest held on 10th April 2000, at Westfield observed that many victims and victims’ families are still suffering from the wreck of dictatorship without adequate medical care without help from the government.
He emphasized that victims are not beggars and are not begging Barrow’s administration but rather demanding compensation for their tears and blood split during the struggle to end the dictatorship.
‘It was because of the victims and their names used during the 2016, Campaign of the Coalition that resulted in the change through the ballot box,’ he added.
He continued: ‘am very disappointed to hear that the government has only budgeted only seventy-five million dalasi (75 Million) for reparation settlement to the victims. This is far below the hundred and sixty-eight million (D168 Million) recommended by the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).”
The emotional victim Jammeh further narrated that the victims are not beggars but what they are demanding is their rights and they deserve to be paid by the state as part of its responsibility and by reparations.
According to him, Adama Barrow came to power through the use of names of victims and their situation that galvanized both national and international support for his presidential bid in 2016, adding that the awful conditions of victims narrated to electorates and Gambians across the border draws wide condemnation for Yahya Jammeh resulting to Barrow’s ascendance to power.
“People lost their fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties and other family members, what these victims go through is why we have this government today. I definitely feel disappointed that this government cannot have sympathy and increase the budget allocation but rather decided to reduce what has been recommended by the TRRC, why should they reduce it? Jammeh rhetorically asked.
Mr. Jameh finally suggested that reparations of victims should have been financed from the one and half billion dalasi (D1.5 billion) proceeds accrued from the sales of exiled President Yahya Jammeh’s assets.