Jammeh-era crimes should be prosecuted, according to the Gambia Truth Panel.

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Jammeh-era crimes should be prosecuted, according to the Gambia Truth Panel.

On Thursday, the Gambia’s truth committee recommended that the government prosecute a list of officials accountable for atrocities perpetrated under former dictator Yahya Jammeh, with victims insisting that the ex-leader himself is on the list.

Human rights organizations have long demanded for Jammeh’s prosecution for alleged human rights violations, including murder, torture, and rape, committed during his 22 years in power in the West African country.

The TRRC, a truth commission established to investigate the claims, delivered its final report to President Adama Barrow on Thursday, recommending that the government pursue criminal proceedings.

The report highlights people who “hold the greatest responsibility for human rights violations and abuses,” according to TRRC Chairman Lamin Sise.

In a statement, he stated, “To forgive and forget… would not only impede reconciliation, but would also constitute a large and atrocious cover-up of the crimes perpetrated.”

Sise did not say whether Jammeh’s name is mentioned.

“There is no doubt that Yahya Jammeh was at the top of that list,” 11 Gambian and international rights organisations stated in a statement.

The report also “begins the countdown to the day Yahya Jammeh will have to confront his victims,” according to Reed Brody, who works with Jammeh-era victims.

The truth panel’s findings came after more than two years of hearings investigating atrocities committed under Jammeh.

Witnesses described state-sanctioned torture, death squads, rape, and witch hunts, typically at the hands of Jammeh’s death squads, known as the “Junglers.”

The TRRC does not have the authority to punish criminals, and the contents of its report will not be made public right away.

Within six months, Barrow is scheduled to deliver a white paper on how to put its recommendations into action.

The president promised to deliver the white paper on schedule and assured victims that “justice will be done” during a press conference in the capital, Banjul.

Jammeh ascended to power in The Gambia, Africa’s smallest country, in a bloodless military revolution in 1994.

He was then re-elected in questionable circumstances until Barrow, a relative unknown at the time, defeated him at the polls in December 2016.

Jammeh was pushed into exile in Equatorial Guinea after a six-week conflict that resulted in military involvement by neighboring West African states.

Despite the serious charges of abuse leveled against Jammeh, the 56-year-old continues to command a sizable following in Gambia.

Many of his admirers want him to return from exile.

His clout has been a hot topic in the run-up to the first presidential election on December 4th. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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