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Gambia delays report on ex-dictator Jammeh

By AFP
30 September 2021   |   12:46 pm
The long-awaited findings of a probe into crimes committed under Gambia's former dictator Yahya Jammeh, which were to be released on Thursday, have been delayed, investigators said.

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh, who is also a presidential candidate for the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC), smiles during a rally in Banjul, Gambia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

The long-awaited findings of a probe into crimes committed under Gambia’s former dictator Yahya Jammeh, which were to be released on Thursday, have been delayed, investigators said.

A panel called the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) had been scheduled to ceremonially hand over its findings to President Adama Barrow.

But the final report will now be released at a later date, a member of the TRRC told AFP, saying, “We are not yet ready.”

The TRRC was set up in 2017 following Jammeh’s defeat to Barrow in elections in December 2016.

After a six-week standoff that ended in military intervention by neighbouring countries, Jammeh flew to Equatorial Guinea.

Styled on the lines of South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the TRRC heard testimony from nearly 400 people from January 2019 to May 2021 on Jammeh’s 22-year dictatorship.

Witnesses gave chilling evidence about state-sanctioned torture, death squads, rape and witch hunts, often at the hands of the “Junglers,” who acted as Jammeh’s death squads.

The TRRC was not empowered to prosecute those responsible for the crimes, and Barrow has long said he will await its report before seeking any further action against his predecessor.

Supporters of the 56-year-old ex-dictator want him to return from exile.

But many in the poor nation of two million people have also called for him to be returned home for prosecution.

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