TRRC Chair Dr. Lamin Sise accompanied by Executive Secretary Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow on Wednesday, January 2nd paid a courtesy call on the medical board set up by the Ministry of Health to assist victims needing urgent medical attention. The board was set up in response to a request submitted by the TRRC to the Ministry of Health in November, 2018. The courtesy call offered an opportunity for the TRRC to express our profound gratitude to Board Chair Dr. Charles Roberts and other board members for their selfless and invaluable support to victims needing urgent medical attention.
The meeting also offered an opportunity for the board to give an update on the status of their work with victims and how far they have in preparing their reports and recommendations to the commission regarding what kinds of treatment victims need and where they could get such treatment. The TRRC was informed that one of the reports was almost finished and should be submitted in the near future. Meanwhile, the board is continuing to work with some of the victims.
Upon request by the TRRC, the board expressed their willingness to continue seeing victims outside of the initial two groups from April 10/11, 2000 and April/May 2016. It was agreed that the TRRC will seek logistical support for the board with a view to making it a viable long term support system for victims needing medical attention. Since the board was formed, the TRRC has received complaints and requests for medical support from victims outside these two groups. The TRRC will continue working closely with the board to facilitate access to medical support for victims who might need it after the commission’s mandate expires in two years.
Meanwhile, the TRRC reminds the general public that our first public hearing will start at 10:00 am on Monday, January 7 at Dunes Resort, Kololi. In readiness for the hearings, the TRRC successfully conducted a first dry run on Thursday, December 27, 2018 to test audio equipment and the general readiness of the Commission to conduct hearings. A second dry run is scheduled for Thursday, January 3, 2019. The TRRC communications unit is currently working on accreditation for journalists from various media houses. All public hearings of the commission are open to the public.
The TRRC also wishes to remind and encourage all witnesses and victims of human rights violations in 1994 to please come to Dunes Resort, Kololi and give their statements. The TRRC offers a modest reimbursement of transportation and other minor expenses to witnesses and victims travelling from other parts of the country to give their statements. Witnesses and victims unable to make the trip to Dunes Resort are encouraged to call 9348929 or 2949170 and arrangements will be made to take their statements. Anyone that has any information on 1994 Human Rights Violations that will be helpful to the TRRC is also encouraged to come to our offices or call the above two numbers. Witnesses and victims who wish to provide statements or other information related to 1994 violations are advised to do so as soon as possible in order not to miss the opportunity of doing so once the research and investigations focus moves away from 1994.
The TRRC continues to seek the nation’s support and blessings as we all embark upon this challenging task of truth-seeking, justice, and healing this New Year.