Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has approved the establishment of a Human Rights Commission, the first for the West African nation since its birth more than a half-century ago.
Rights activists have been campaigning for a rights commission after rights abuses became widespread in the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh.
The country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Aboubacarr Ba Tambadou discussed the importance of the Commission with his cabinet colleagues, who overwhelmingly supported agenda.
A new bill to establish the Human Rights Commission will be sent to Parliament, where lawmakers are expected to approve its establishment.
The Human Rights Commission bill will be tabled before parliamentarians with the Constitutional Review Commission and Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission bills.
After winning the elections last year, President Adama Barrow pledged to launch a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the alleged human rights abuses of Jammeh’s 22-year regime.
Jammeh, who first seized power in a 1994 coup silenced opposition voices. Barrow’s government faces enormous challenges to rebuild the country’s broken economy and long-neglected institutions.
Rights group say Gambia’s government should act to prosecute those responsible for grave crimes committed during Jammeh’s rule and preached that fair trials are crucial for victims and their families and for building respect for the rule of law in the country.