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OPINION: APRC supporters should accept Jammeh committed gross human rights violations
Home » News  »  OPINION: APRC supporters should accept Jammeh committed gross human rights violations
OPINION: APRC supporters should accept Jammeh committed gross human rights violations

They jumped as if fitted with coil springs, they high fived, they punched the air in delight that after nearly two and a half years; the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission's public hearings are finally over.

Supporters of Yahya Jammeh, couldn’t believe what they heard when the Commission’s chairman, Dr Lamin Sise, announced that Thursday, 28th May 2021 will be the last day of public hearings. They consulted far and wide to make sure that Dr Sise is not pulling a late, late April fool joke. The joke is on them as they spent two and a half years in denial and quite often contracting themselves.

From the onset, they blamed UDP leader Ousainou Darboe for setting up the commission with the sole purpose of killing the APRC. That is far from the truth. The TRRC was part of the coalition agenda and when the idea was being conceived Mr Darboe was in prison. They should have contacted former spokesperson Halifa Sallah for clarification.

We understand unearthing Babili’s criminal deeds was traumatizing for them but that is nothing compared to rights violations victims have been through. There is not a single witness who cataloged his or her victimization that they accepted as fact. Instead, they were busy finding holes in witnesses’ testimonies, tried without success to discredit them.

Throughout the public hearings, they claimed to be not watching and branded the commission a “reality show”, “comedy show.” Oddly enough, they posted and commented on social media, sometimes in real-time, about witnesses’ testimonies at the TRRC. It makes you wonder how they know about them since they claimed to be not watching.

I have seen them lauded some witnesses in the morning sessions, but once they (witnesses) start narrating their own victimization, they turned against them. They will go as far as accusing the TRRC of bribing them during the lunch break. What were they expecting? For victims to hail Babili!

Granted, while some witnesses might have exaggerated their ordeals, but that does not change the fact that people’s rights were violated, some exiled and some paid the ultimate price for simply exercising their rights.

For the last witness, Jammeh’s so-called “son”, Saihou Jallow, he swore to speak nothing but the truth. The fraidy-cat ends up giving us half-truths as speaking the ruth means upsetting Yaya Jammeh, APRC supporters and his native Foninkas. Those half-truths end up doing just that. He was neither here nor there. He became what Kora Maestro Jaliba Kuyateh referred to “Ening jang teh, ening janan teh”.

APRC supporters can deny all they want, but the facts remain that their supreme leader committed heinous crimes. Ask Baba Hydara if his father Deyda Hydara is still with them. Ask Fatoumatta Sandeng if her father Solo Sandeng is still with them. Ask Aja Mamie Ceesay if her son Alhagie Mamout Ceesay is still with them. The list is endless.

By Saul Sarr

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