The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission has been launched at a colorful ceremony attended by a host of dignitaries both from the country and outside. There were representatives of the United Nations Secretary General and other very high-ranking officials.
It could be recalled that for over two decades the country wallowed under the heavy burden of dictatorship which was characterized by human rights violations of varying severity. In some cases, citizens were incarcerated without following due process. In others, extrajudicial killings were committed, and others simply disappeared.
Following the ousting of the former president, the new government set up the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission to investigate and document the abuses with a view to finding ways of making sure that it never happens again. Also, it is to seek and provide closure for victims and their loved ones.
The Commission will also recommend for government to compensate and seek reconciliation for, and among Gambians. It will also recommend that people found to have committed the most crimes, and those who bear the heaviest burden of responsibility for abuses are brought to book.
All aspects of the Commission’s work are important, particularly the part that will recommend that the rights violators be prosecuted. It is important to remember that we need it so as to maintain a peaceful country. For, peace, is not only the absence of violence but the presence of justice.