By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Yesterday, the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Victims Center) received a donation of D100 thousand from the author of “The Dictator is US”, Second Lieutenant Alhagie Barrow.
The Victim Center which was established after the change of government published a brief notice highlighting that a “delegation from Global Hands Publishing Company in the persons of Dr. Cherno Omar Barry and Professor Momodou Sallah” presented a cheque to the new Chair of the Victims Center, Mr Demba Ali Jawo on Tuesday 24th October 2023.
According to the update, 100% of the royalties of Alhagie Barrow from the sale of his book have been donated to the Victims Center.
The update highlights that “the D100,000 cash donation was handed over to the VC’s new Board Chairman, Mr DA Jawo and the handing over was witnessed by Mr Adama Jallow, the National Coordinator, Mr Kebba Jome, Head of Programs and other Secretariat staff members”.
In reaction to this, “the VC wishes to extend its profound gratitude to Second Lieutenant Alhagie Barrow and Global Hands Publishing Company for such a wonderful gesture, coming at a time, when funds are limited to support victims’ needs”.
“The VC assured that the funds will go a long way in supporting victims’ needs. We wish to take this opportunity to call on other philanthropists, and individuals to support the VC, either in cash or kind to continue catering for the needs of victims”.
The Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was established after the change in government and investigated the human rights violations of victims of the former regime from 1994 to 2016.
At the end of the TRRC, the Commission recommended that victims should be compensated as follows;
1. D205.8 Million to 956 victims and
2. D32.4 Million to some 54 West Africans.
The government accepted most of the TRRC’s recommendations in late 2021 including the Commission’s recommendations on Reparations. However, it can be recalled that The Gambia Government only made one donation of D50 million to victims back in 2019 which was used as follows;
1. D13 Million for Interim Reparations during the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission – TRRC and,
2. D37 Million on Reparations proper at the end of the TRRC process.
Since then nothing has been forthcoming. Unfortunately, victims have been dying, highlighting the urgency that victims need more support from the government and individuals if they are to receive all the recommended Reparations before more victims die.
It’s time to bring all hands on deck to follow the examples set by these patriotic citizens and embrace the victims of the previous regime to achieve the #NeverAgain mantra.