Gambia Truth Commission Begins to Address Jammeh-Era Abuses


Two years after the surprise election defeat of longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission began hearings that will bring alleged human rights abuses committed over more than two decades to light. The government launched the commission in October, pledging to explore Jammeh-era crimes such as enforced disappearances, summary executions, torture, and rape. Authorities have vowed to right the wrongs of the past and ensure that human rights and the rule of law are central in the country’s democratic shift.

On Monday, the truth commission started taking evidence from witnesses, with the first sitting centered on the circumstances that led to the overthrow of the constitutional order in July 1994 by a group of soldiers led by Lt. Yahya Jammeh, who went on to rule for more than 20 years. The start of the hearings “is an important initial step toward securing justice, truth, and reparations in Gambia and shows a strong commitment by the government to break with a past of systematic human rights violations,” Amnesty International said Monday.

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The Republic