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President Adama Barrow Receives US Ambassador At Large For Global Criminal Justice

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President Adama Barrow receives H.E Beth Van Schaack And US Ambassador To The Gambia Sharon L Cromer

By Ramatoulie Jawo

His Excellency President Adama Barrow, on Friday 1st March 2024, received H.E Beth Van Schaack, the US Department of State, Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice at the the state house in Banjul.

Ambassador Van Schaack was accompanied to the State House by the US ambassador in The Gambia her Excellency Sharon L Cromer and the Minister of Justice Dawda A Jallow.

This is her second visit to The Gambia, where she is been working with the Justice Ministry to support The Gambia Transitional Justice Process.

Speaking to the media shortly after her meeting with the President, Ambassador Van Schaack commended the remarkable progress made in transitional justice in terms of implementing all the recommendations of the TRRC.

She further gives credit to the Minister of Justice Dawda A Jallow and his team for spearheading the process and the launching of a joint task force with Ecowas to establish a hybrid court, with international elements and expertise to prosecute international crimes committed during the rule of former president Yahya Jammeh.

“I’m happy to see the incredible progress that has been made in transitional justice in terms of implementing all the important recommendations in the TRRC report and I give credit to Minister Jallow, and his team for moving these efforts forward. I was honored to participate in the launch of the joint task force with ECOWAS to establish a hybrid court. This will be a court that has international elements and expertise to help prosecute some of the international crimes that were made during the Jammeh era,” she said.

She added that the new Task Force will take a month to establish as it has to be ratified by member states of ECOWAS whilst a Special Prosecutor will also be appointed soon to start the investigations and prepare dossiers on the alleged perpetrators

“Those dossiers will then be ready for when the tribunal starts work, but in the meantime, some of the cases could go to the national side and be adjudicated there in a decent way,” she said.

“I know that it has been a long time since the TRRC released its report and much of the time has been taken by the Covid period, but is really exciting to see the energy now in creating new institutions finding delivery upon justice for the terrible crimes that were really experienced by so many Gambians during the long Jammeh era,” she added.

Ambassador Van Schaack expressed happiness with the new developments and shared optimism that justice will soon be delivered for the victims after years of waiting.

She reaffirmed that the US will support the process through a rewards program to pay rewards for the capture or information leading to the arrest or transfer of suspects or fugitives who are at large, in The Gambia, sub-region, or farther.

She urged the government through the Justice Ministry to set up a tracking team to track the suspects to ensure that they don’t flee from justice

her Excellency Sharon L Cromer Said Van Schaack is closely following transitional justice in The Gambia.

“Ambassador Beth Van Schaack is closely following transitional justice here in the Gambia. She and her staff have supported the Ministry of Justice through the efforts to stand up because much of the work is needed for the TRRC.” She said.

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