Gambia this week announced plans to suspend state employees accused of crimes under the former Yahya Jammeh regime. The move is one of the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).
The TRRC, established to investigate crimes committed by former dictator Yahya Jammeh and by others in his regime, wrapped up its investigation late last year.
Although it had handed the report to the government with a raft of recommendations, the government has not implemented even part of the report until now.
No official list has been offered to the public, but police have been suspended including Anti-Crime Unit commander Gorgui Mboob, a number of members of the military and the director of operations for the National Drug Enforcement Agency, Ebrima Jim Drammeh.
The suspension will be carried out in the next few days, according to Kimbeng Tah, spokesman for the ministry of justice.
It is a “tangible first step” in securing justice for the 250 people who died under his regime, as well as the countless numbers of victims, according to human rights lawyer Reed Brody, of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).
During its work, which was broadcast publicly in Gambia, the TRRC uncovered evidence of rape, murder, violence, and forced disappearances under the Jammeh regime.
What about Jammeh?
However, no comment has been given by the government on dealing with Jammeh himself, still in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
On a visit to Equatorial Guinea by Gambian President Adama Barrow for the African Union summit last month, Jammeh’s extradition to Gambia for trial was not discussed, according to a BBC interview with government spokesperson Ebrima G. Sankareh.
Human rights lawyer Brody is calling on Gambia to create a special tribunal to try Jammeh, and to get support from neighbouring countries like Ghana, given Ghanaian nationals were also victims of the regime.
Meanwhile, in a effort to educate Gambian children on the horrors of the Jammeh regime, Fantanka, a sexual and reproductive health awareness group, brought out a child-friendly version of the TRRC report on Friday.