A Gambian minister, who has been jailed at least 22 times by the country’s ousted dictator advised authorities to take a clue from Ghana as the country starts work on its truth commission.
Jallow, who said he has personally forgiven ex-Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh says having a united country is important to keep the peace of the small country, which remains politically divided.
Ghana’s ex-dictator, Jerry Rawlings is accused of committing some of the worst human rights abuses in Western Africa. His regime executed two former Ghanian presidents, Supreme Court justices, dozens of military chiefs, government officials and citizens.
At least 300 Ghanaians were missing during his rule. Torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest, and killings were prevalent.
“Later they felt that if they follow each other, the country will be ruined, then they decide to set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate and compensate victims,” Jallow said.
Jallow has been of Jammeh’s many torture victims. He has lost sight in his left eye and had several of his bones broken by Jammeh’s loyalist.
Jallow is expected to testify in the Gambia’s truth commission being set up by the Justice Department to probe allegations of human rights abuses under Jammeh.
West African forces helped force Jammeh out of power after his refusal to cede power to real estate developer, Adama Barrow nearly slipped the country into civil war.
Clashes have been reported between supporters of the ousted autocrat and the new president, especially in the southern Gambian region of Foni, where support for Jammeh remain strong.
Jallow, who is now an Agricultural Minister and a leader of the Gambia’s ruling coalition said the Ghana recipe is an ingredient for The Gambia to remain peaceful after decades of dictatorship and months-long political turmoil.