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Jeggan Grey-Johnson: “Fog of Uncertainty Around Implementation of TRRC Recommendations Must Be Lifted”

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Jeggan Grey-Johnson
Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at Open Society Foundation

By Landing Ceesay

Jeggan Grey-Johnson, Advocacy and Communications Coordinator, Open Society Foundation said the “fog of uncertainty” around the implementation of the Truth, Reconstruction and Reparation Commission (TRRC) recommendations must be lifted.

“We have now reached a stage where the fog of uncertainty around the implementation of the TRRC recommendations must be lifted and doubt, which kills more dreams than failure ever will, is also lifted from incredulous minds, as to answering the questions around the quest for justice for the victims of a tyrannical era, which witnessed brutality and rights abuses under the Jammeh regime.

“It is this fog of uncertainty and doubt that must be lifted through implementation… instead of intentions, it is this fog of uncertainty that must be lifted through actions and not acclamation of promises made, yet to be kept. And this is where we are in our journey to attaining justice for all victims, that juncture in that journey where the ‘rubber must hit the road’- and momentum is triggered, as a sign of fundamental shifts happening, so that hope can be injected into the transitional justice agenda, where the TRRC report and the GoTG White Paper see rapid, deliberate and unambiguous signs of implementation,” he said.

Mr. Grey Johnson stated that justice is actually binary saying, “you either get it or you don’t.”

He said the former Minister of Justice, laid a foundation and gave them a direction towards a noble aspiration in truth seeking, ventilation, narration and amplification of the voices of victims; admission of complicity and guilt, as well as collective and individual contrition.

The Open Society Foundation’s Advocacy and Communications Coordinator said some of the milestones and pitstops in the journey to justice have been met; but a few fundamental ones like the “accountability element” have also been missed.  

Mr. Grey Johnson, told the stakeholders that there is a need for the National Assembly to apply its mind to the TRRC report and the Government White Paper, which he said is imperative towards inspiring hope for the victims; adding, that there is indeed a continuity in “this laborious process”, where the wheels of justice turned the collective responsibility element.

“Indeed, we assume, in good faith, that the first aspect of the journey of engaging the National Assembly has already been done, as according to the TRRC Act, Part VI section 30- submission of the report to the NA (Fifth Assembly at the time). We are now in the Sixth Assembly, what are the follow-up mechanisms? And why is there seemingly a depriortiziation of the TRRC debate and deliberations in that August House? These are fundamental questions we must ask because the natural progression of this journey must point towards policy and practice,” he said.

Johnson called on people to take ownership of the implementation of the Government White Paper.

“We must take ownership of this journey, which has led us to this point, where momentum must be built in delivering justice for all victims by mustering that courage to take the road less travelled,” he said.

Mr. Jeggan Grey-Johnson made these remarks at the opening of Open Society Foundation (his institution) and the National Human Rights Commission’s 3-day Conference with stakeholders on the Government White Paper.

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