25th November, 2021
Excellency, Mr. President, on 15th October, 2018, you swore us in as Commissioners of the TRRC. We answered your call to serve our country, The Gambia, on an important assignment regarding a dark and difficult period in the recent history of our motherland.
Excellency, you gave us each a copy of the TRRC Act, 2017, pursuant to which the TRRC was established with a well-defined mandate to, inter alia,
create an impartial historical record of violations and abuses of human rights from July 1994 to January 2017, in order to –
promote healing and reconciliation,
respond to the needs of the victims,
address impunity, and
prevent a repeat of the violations and abuses suffered by making recommendations for the establishment of appropriate preventive mechanisms, including institutional and legal reforms;
establish and make known the fate or whereabouts of disappeared victims;
provide victims an opportunity to relate their own accounts of the violations and abuses suffered; and
grant reparations to victims in appropriate cases.
Your Excellency, the Commission worked intensively for nearly 3 years to fulfil its mandate through public hearings of the Commission and the Secretariat of the TRRC conducting outreach activities throughout the country to familiarize The Gambian population on the work of the TRRC. Three hundred and ninety-three witnesses testified before the Commission, the majority of which were victims. The witnesses also included self-confessed perpetrators.
The violations and abuses of human rights narrated by the witnesses include, inter alia, the following:
Arbitrary arrests
Unlawful detention
Unlawful killings (including extra-judicial executions)
Enforced disappearances
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, including rape and castration
Inhuman and degrading treatment
Witch hunting
Fake HIV/AIDS treatment and
General and widespread abuse of public office
Your Excellency, on 15th October, 2018 when launching the TRRC and having sworn-in the eleven Commissioners, you stated the following “Gambians had for far too long suffered under a repressive regime; a regime that failed its social contract with the citizens and, in doing so, oppressed the very people it swore to serve and protect. As a consequence, the TRRC was born out of the aspirations of a people who decided that they want a society where truth and justice prevail. This Commission is the outcome of the dreams of a people united in their wish for a better future: a future free of oppression, persecution and tyranny.”
Excellency, Mr. President, pursuant to Section 29 of the TRRC Act, 2017, The Commission required to “submit a report of its work to the President at the end of its operations. The report shall state the findings of the Commission and shall make recommendations concerning the reforms and other measures needed to achieve the object of the Commission”. The Act provide further that
“The report shall include: (a) measures aimed at reconciliation and peace building; (b) individual and collective reparation of victims; and (c) recommendations that include initiatives on human rights and peace building studies for children.”
The report the Commission submits to you today is contained in seventeen volumes of thematic reports.
In the name of my fellow Commissioners, we have the honour to submit to Your Excellency the report of the TRRC pursuant to section 29 of the TRRC Act, 2017.
We thank Your Excellency.

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