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Victims Centre Says TRRC Reparation Programme Doesn’t Adequately Address Long-time Medical Assistance For Victims

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The Chairman of the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations speaking at the 3 day Civil Society Organization and Stakeholders Consultations on the Victims Reparations Bill underway at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre

By Landing Ceesay

The Chairman of The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Victims Centre), Sheriff Kijera said that the Truth, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission (TRRC) reparation programme does not adequately address longtime medical assistance for victims.

“The TRRC is a critical part of peacebuilding, providing reparation, reconciliation and the consolidation of democracy in the new Gambia. We had the opportunity to hear from victims about how their rights that were violated led to their victimization and the lifelong consequences they continue to live with. We also heard from the families of the victims who did not survive to tell their own stories. I say all this because victims continue to suffer pain and trauma. The TRRC reparation programme does not adequately address remedial pathways to cater for long-term medical assistance and psychological rehabilitation for victims. Financial compensation is not just enough, long term medical support and livelihood support are essential in the government’s reparations program,” Mr Kijera said.

Mr Kijera, however, acknowledged the efforts of the TRRC in taking notable measures in developing a reparations policy, regulations, and guidelines as well as issuing interim reparations to different categories of victims.

He commend government efforts in creating a conducive environment, the necessary support and financial contribution to the victims’ reparations programme.

“I must hasten to say that many victims felt that the measures taken by the TRRC were not comprehensive in nature, as a result, they are recommending a post-TRRC reparation committee that would be inclusive to take all victims on board,” he said.

Mr Sheriff Kijera made these remarks earlier today at the 3 day Civil Society Organization and Stakeholders Consultations on the Victims Reparations Bill taking place at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre.

The event is organised by the Attorney General’s Chambers & Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the American Bar Association-Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI).

It is meant to capture the views and perspectives of the relevant CSOs and stakeholders in shaping the Victim’s Reparations Bill.  

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