Justice Minister Jallow Addresses the United Nations Peace Building Commission
By Musa Saho
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Honorable Dawda A. Jallow, has delivered his statement before the United Nations Peace Building Commission to update them on the Gambia’s Transitional Reform Processes and Post- TRRC Implementation Initiatives at a session held on the 18th October 2022 in New York, United States.
The session brings together senior government officials from Peace Building Commission member states, Ambassador Muhammed Abdul Muhith, Chairman Peace Building Commission, Madam Aissata DE, UNDP Resident Representative in The Gambia, Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mamadou Tangara among other dignitaries.
In his opening remarks, Minister Jallow informed the gathering that, the government of the Gambia is working closely with partners to revive the Constitutional Review Process to enable effective legislative reforms. He added that the strategy is being worked out and stakeholder consultation will soon commence.
On the post-TRRC implementation, the Minister said, his office intends to organize a stakeholders/donor conference in early 2023, by that time, the ministry would have circulated copies of the costed implementation plan showing details of all planned activities.
“The Government also intends to create a special hybrid judicial framework within our domestic court system for the prosecution of perpetrators with the necessary regional collaborations needed to try crimes of international nature,” he said.
Minister Jallow stated that the body his office aims to set up, will have the duty of reviewing petitions from prospective victims who might not have been identified by the TRRC and the scheme will be victim-led with no control from the Government.
”The reparations bill is presently under consideration, and the bill when enacted will put in place an independent body whose sole responsibility will be to administer a reparations fund and make payment to victims,” he said.
In addition to reparation measures, Honourable Jallow said, the Government is working closely with partners to establish a Peace and Reconciliation Commission to nurture the fragile peace the country currently enjoys and to consolidate the gains of the new democratic dispensation.
In the area of the National Security Bill 2022, the Minister informed partners that the bill is under cabinet for consideration. The bill when enacted will establish the office of the National Security, which will serve as the central coordination secretariat of all security operations.
On the issue of Security Sector Reform, Justice Minister said the Vetting Bill has been approved by the cabinet and is now ready for tabling before the National Assembly. The bill when enacted will set up the Vetting Agency that will among other things usher in a unified approach to Security vetting in The Gambia.
He further stated that the country’s Transition Justice Process has so far been a success thanks to partners’ collective efforts, saying that the Gambia is now known and well respected for its nascent democracy and human rights standards due to the PBC's guidance, assistance, and support.
He concluded by expressing gratitude and appreciation to partners for the unflinching support the Gambia received from the PBC and the PBF from 2017 to date.