The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, TRRC will embark on a tour of the Diaspora this week.
Among other things the mission will encourage Gambians in the diaspora who are victims of gross human rights violations from July 1994 to January 2017 to give statements and possibly participate in the public hearings, be it remotely or by travelling to The Gambia.
The Mission team will be divided into two groups, with one group visiting four States in the USA while the other group travels to the UK, Sweden and Norway to engage Gambians resident in these countries and surrounding areas.
The TRRC said the Gambian diaspora were also key contributors to ending dictatorship in the Gambia both through financial contributions and relentlessly raising awareness about the former regime’s oppressive rule.
“The mission aims to discuss with Gambians in the diaspora the role that they can play in the reform processes as well as mobilise resources for the TRRC’s Reparations Programme through the exploration of fundraising opportunities with established Gambian diaspora associations.
There is great potential for Gambians to contribute to the current TRRC process but also the country’s reform agenda at the end of the process. By engaging Gambians in the diaspora, the TRRC can explore, novel and innovate means of strengthening national mechanisms and institutions to safeguard against dictatorship,” the Commission said.
According to the TRRC, apart from the public hearings, outreach is another important component of the work of the TRRC because it has played a crucial role in increasing public participation and engagement in the process.
“It is in this vein that the TRRC intends to embark on a mission to directly engage with Gambians living in the diaspora,” the commission said.
The TRRC said it looks forward to engaging with Gambians in the selected countries and look forward to receiving feedbacks on how it can improve on its current process.
“We had hoped to visit more countries but dues to funding constraints, this is impossible.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners in the various countries and cities who are working to make these engagements a success and also our funder
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was set up by an Act of The Gambia’s National Assembly in December 2017, to investigate and establish an impartial historical record of the nature, causes and extent of violations and abuses of human rights committed between July 1994 to January 2017 and to consider the granting of reparations to victims and for connected matters. In pursuit of this mandate, the Commission is empowered by section 15(f) to “request information from the relevant authorities of a foreign country and to gather information from victims, witnesses, Government Officials and others in foreign Countries”.
It is against this backdrop that the TRRC wishes to embark on diaspora engagements in the United States of America and in Europe to meet with the aforementioned stakeholders from 28 August to 8 September 2019.