Gambia’s truth commission the TRRC on Thursday recommended the government prosecute a list of officials responsible for crimes committed under former dictator Yahya Jammeh, with victims adamant the ex-leader himself is included.
Civil liberties groups have long called for Jammeh’s prosecution over alleged abuses including murder, torture and rape during his 22 years in power.
The TRRC which was set up to investigate the allegations handed President Adama Barrow its final report Thursday and recommended the government pursue criminal charges.
TRRC Chairman Lamin Sise said the report names those who “bear the greatest responsibility for human rights violations and abuses”.
“To forgive and forget… would not only undermine reconciliation but also constitute a massive and egregious cover-up of the crimes committed,” he said in a statement.
Sise did not specify whether Jammeh himself is named. However, a statement from 11 Gambian and international rights groups said “there is no doubt that Yahya Jammeh was at the top of that list”.
The findings of the truth panel come after more than two years of hearings into Jammeh-era crimes.
President Barrow is expected to issue a white paper within six months on how to implement the report’s recommendations. Jammeh seized power in 1994 as part of a bloodless military coup in The Gambia — the smallest country in mainland Africa.
He was then repeatedly re-elected in disputed circumstances until Barrow, who was then a relative unknown, defeated him at the ballot box in December 2016.
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