Victim-Led Organizations and Gambian CSOs
April 10th and 11th, 2000, Student Demonstrations
Today marks the 23rd anniversary since the April 10th and 11th 2000 student demonstrations. This was the day that the former government under the leadership of Yaya Jammeh, ordered the unlawful shooting of students, who were merely protesting against the brutality meted onto their colleagues by some of the security forces, at the time. Students were killed, arrested, detained, physically assaulted, raped, and tortured in several different locations, across the country. This unfortunate incident continues to impact on the lives and livelihood of families, especially victim families and the entire Gambian population due to the loss of lives and the social implications which include and are not limited to physical disabilities, psychosocial problems and loss of educational opportunities.
During the Truth, Reparations and Reconciliation Commission, (TRRC), witness testimonies revealed how students were shot at, raped, tortured, and illegally detained, which gave the victims’ families and the public a graphic insight into the realities of that dark and fateful day in our history as a people. For more than two decades now, victims and their families continue to be ignored and sidelined by the government of The Gambia, making it extremely difficult to seek Justice. Until today victims of April 10th and 11th 2000 are still not given the due consideration they deserved. Most are still in dire need of urgent medical support, psychosocial support, educational support and above all financial support. It has been 23 years and these victims deserve better.
Victim-Led organizations and other CSOs will continue to support, advocate and fight for the victims’ rights until the government does the needful. The TRRC Report and Recommendations were released on November 24th, 2021 followed by the Government’s White Paper on May 25th, 2022. All the recommendations on April 10th and 11th 2000 Victims have been accepted by the government however, we are calling on them to swiftly implement the TRRC Recommendations as justice delayed is justice denied.
We wish to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all stakeholders, including our local, regional, and international donors for their unflinching and continued support in the ongoing Transitional Justice Process in the Gambia. Together we will continue to fight for the rights of victims to ensure justice and accountability, and to promote NEVER AGAIN.