Gambian government set to prosecute Yahya Jammeh

The Gambian government has announced that the country’s former president, Yahya Jammeh will be prosecuted for a “myriad of crimes committed between 1994 and 2017”.

A government whitepaper said “for 22 years, Yahya Jammeh ruled The Gambia with an iron fist […] During his regime, extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, enforced disappearances, and numerous grievous human rights violations became part and parcel of his military Junta.”

Some relatives of the victims as well as citizens express worry following the fact that Jammeh currently lives in Equatorial Guinea which in diplomatic terms has no extradition order with the Gambia. This shares the difficulty of successful prosecution.

However, the government assured that, it is developing its own strategy to ensure that the former dictator faces the law for his crimes.

Part of the plans as shared with the media includes the setting up of a special court which the authorities said will have “the option of holding sittings in other countries”.

Speaking on the development, Justice Minister Dawda Jallow said “impunity is a kind of incentive that we are not prepared to serve perpetrators.”

He added that, “their resolve to commit these atrocities cannot be stronger than our collective will as a society to hold them to account.”

Yahya Jammeh’s prosecution will be based on recommendations made by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). The commission’s report also demands the prosecution of other accomplices of Jammeh who equally committed crimes

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