(JollofNews) – Gambian Parliament on Wednesday endorsed two major bills tabled by Justice Minister Aboubacarr Tambadou that would reshape the country’s institutions.
The bills pave the way for the establishment of a Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparation Commission (TRRC) as well as the much awaited National Human Rights Commission.
In tabling the bills Gambia’s Justice Minister Tambadou expressed Gambia government commitment to setting out an ambitious plan of constitutional reforms befitting the new democratic dispensation. As the country is confronted with a rising demand for justice, Tambadou made it clear that the upcoming TRRC will be tasked to investigate
human rights abuses that were committed under the Jammeh regime.
The tiny West African nation is recovering from 22 years of dictatorship that plunged the country into a situation that gave rise
to arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings. The new government has vowed to right the wrongs of the past in restoring democracy and rule of law.
Tambadou told National Assembly Members that the TRRC will submit a report to President Adama Barrow at the end of its work.
On the establisment of a National Human Rights Commission, Tambadou has cleared air over Gambia gov’t resolve to ensure that the independence of the said commission is not compromised.
“We want the Commission to exercise its complete independence,” he said while responding to MPs who were concerned over the independence of the human rights body as it will rely on gov’t funding to carry out its mission.
“We are determined to restore the country’s lost reputation,” he added.
The tabling of the bills has triggered interesting parliamentary debate, prompting many observers to say that the era of a rubber stamp Parliament is over.
Brikama North MP Alhagie S.Darboe of United Democratic Party (UDP) said the bills are long overdue. He expressed hope that the commission will ensure that human rights are observed.
National Assembly Member for Wuli West Sidia of People’s Democratic Organisation d’or Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) said everybody is aware about the efforts made by victims to get redress.
He further stated that some people have died and are yet to be proven dead.