A Gambian truth and reconciliation commission began its first hearing this month to look into alleged human rights abuses that occurred during the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh.
Between 1994 and 2016, Jammeh allegedly oversaw gross human rights violations including witch hunts, torture, enforced disappearances, and sexual violence. Many atrocities are said to have been committed by his own paramilitary hit squad. Jammeh was known as an eccentric leader who also subjected Gambians to fraudulent treatments for HIV/AIDS.
Hearings for the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) will feature testimony from victims, witnesses and alleged perpetrators. The commission will decide compensation for victims and recommend cases for further prosecution.
This month marks two years since Jammeh fled from The Gambia after refusing to concede defeat in a 2016 presidential election. He has been living in exile in Equatorial Guinea, where he is being protected from extradition. Since his departure, some aspects of Gambian civil society, including the return of a free press, have improved. But the country is still struggling economically and many young people are considering leaving.
In this episode, we’ll discuss what a truth, reconciliation and reparations commission could achieve in The Gambia and how the country has changed under new leadership.
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