By the Solo Sandeng Foundation
On the occasion of the 7th commemoration of the April 14th protest, we are caused to remember the
brave men and women who took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the authoritarian regime
that had ruled over The Gambia for far too long. Equally, we are caused to reflect on the role their
genuine sacrifice and determination played in bringing about the necessary socio-political change that
have advanced political and civil rights in the country. Thanks to their efforts, The Gambia has
registered significant improvements in the areas of political and civil rights, including the restoration of
press freedom, the establishment of an independent and impartial judiciary, and the creation of a
Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to investigate Human Rights abuses
committed under the previous regime.
These achievements are a testament to the enduring legacy of the April 14th peaceful protest and the
resilience of the Gambian people in their fight for justice and democracy. However, as we commemorate
this anniversary, we cannot forget the surviving protesters who continue to suffer the physical and
psychological consequences of their participation in the protest. Their healthcare and reparation needs
must be addressed as a matter of urgency, and the wider transitional justice program must be fully
supported to ensure that all victims of rights abuses are given the justice they deserve and that we move
as a country towards reformation for meaningful and genuine reconciliation.
At the Solo Sandeng Foundation, we are committed to actualizing the transitional justice agenda which
aims to strengthen our social fabric through social cohesion initiatives while reaffirming our commitment
to legislative and institutional reforms especially in the security sector. We emphasize that it is integral
for security forces to be accountable to civilians that they serve and that their actions are at par with
democratic values and human rights principles at all times. A well-functioning security sector is essential
for the stability and prosperity of any country, and we will continue to work towards this goal in
collaboration with other civil society organizations, government agencies, and international partners.
The Foundation underscores the significant strides by the government at the instance of the Ministry of
Justice to implement TRRC recommendation on prosecutions and reparations which aims to address
victims` plights and aspirations for justice. Additionally, we recognize the need for more effort towards
guaranteeing, promoting, and protecting the civil and political rights of all in The Gambia.
The April 14th peaceful protest remains a symbol of hope and a reminder of the power of peaceful
protests in effecting change. We salute the courage and determination of the Gambian people and stand
with our compatriots in the continuing struggle for democracy, justice, and human rights.
Happy Solo Sandeng Day!