AGJA’s engagement with The Gambia

The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) has recently begun an engagement with the government and the judiciary of The Gambia regarding justice and reconciliation issues and policies in the country.  

Current chairman of The AGJA and former chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal  Tribunal for Rwanda, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, was appointed by Gambian President Adama  Barrow as Chief Justice of The Gambia. 

Following its democratic transition earlier this year, The Gambia embarked on a remarkable  political journey. In order to ensure that its transition leads to a stable, democratic, and just  society, it has been recognised that justice and accountability for previous human rights vio lations must be achieved. From the outset, the new government of President Adama Barrow  has pledged to institute a programme of transitional justice. 

The government committed itself to the International Criminal Court and withdrew the  previous notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute. It also began a number of  investigations into alleged abuses under the previous regime of Yahya Jammeh. 

In July 2017, the AGJA signalled its interest and commitment to offering assistance and  expertise to The Gambian government during its period of transition. Members of the AGJA  were subsequently invited by the government of The Gambia to comment and give advice on  the “Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission Bill, 2017” as well as to provide  recommendations on how the bill could be strengthened. A report from the AGJA was sent  earlier this month to the government and the Africa Group looks forward to continued  engagement regarding the truth commission in the coming weeks and months. 

On 9 October, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mr. Aboubacarr Tambadou, has  disclosed the terms of membership of the Truth, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission  (for more information click here). The AGJA commends and welcomes Banjul’s firm  commitment to justice and accountability. It looks forward to continuing its engagement with  the government, the judiciary and representatives from civil society and to providing its expert advice and assistance on issues of justice and accountability as well as constitutional  reviews. Plans are proceeding for a delegation of AGJA members to visit The Gambia during  October, 2017 for meetings with members of the government, the judiciary and civil society  who are involved with the programme of transition.

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