UN says the Gambia needs to have a transitional justice in place as tension rises between families of victims of the former dictator, Yahya Jammeh, and relatives of those accused of human rights abuses.
The family and supports of an opposition activist, Solo Sandeng, who was tortured to death by Jammeh’s government clashed with the relatives of the nine officers accused of his murder outside a court in Banjul.
“The incident that happened at the Banjul court shows that our government needs to work towards national reconciliation first before anything else,” says youth activist Isatou Barry.
Gambia’s President Adama Barrow pledged a truth and reconciliation commission to ease potential tension in the country. The UN on Tuesday pumped US$3 million into the West African nation to help with the peacebuilding process after the country nearly slipped into civil war.
“If the truth commission is not established quickly, people can take matters into their own hands. The country will go somewhere we do not want to see it in,” political activist Pa Modou Jobe said.
Gambia is mainland Africa’s smallest country. It ended a 22-year dictatorship after Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea, where he took up farming in the Central African nation. His regime has been accused of rights abuses and killing his perceived enemies.