By Ebi Kesiena
A truth and reconciliation commission in The Gambia has recommended that ex-leader Yahya Jammeh be brought before an international tribunal for crimes allegedly committed during his 22-year dictatorship.
The commission recommended “prosecuting Yahya Jammeh and his co-perpetrators in an international tribunal” in West Africa outside of The Gambia, under the auspices of either the African Union or the ECOWAS regional grouping, it said in a statement.
“Over a period of 22 years, starting from July 22, 1994, Yahya Jammeh and co-perpetrators committed very serious crimes against the people of The Gambia,” it said.
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was set up in January 2017 by President Adama Barrow, whose election in 2016 put an end to more than two decades of dictatorship.
The commission, which heard from nearly 400 witnesses, presented its findings to Barrow on November 25 and urged the government to pursue criminal charges, but neither the report nor the names of officials it deemed responsible were made public until Friday.
Jammeh seized power in 1994, and for 22 years, he oversaw a regime accused of committing abuses such as state-sanctioned murder, torture and rape.
He went into exile in Equatorial Guinea in 2017 after Barrow’s election victory but retains considerable support in the country.