Gambia’s government accepted a recommendation by a truth and reconciliation commission that exiled former President Yahya Jammeh to be prosecuted for killings and other suspected atrocities from his time in office.
Attorney General Dawda Jallow said a special prosecutor would oversee cases of abuses found from Jammeh’s 1994 to 2017 rule, which were laid out in the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission’s (TRRC) report last year.
The independent commission said Jammeh and his henchmen were responsible for 44 specific crimes against journalists, former soldiers, political opponents, and civilians, including killings and rapes.
Jammeh seized power of the tiny West African nation in a 1994 coup. He was forced out after losing a 2016 election to the current president, Adama Barrow, and fled to Equatorial Guinea. He has denied allegations of wrongdoing.
“What I can say for certain is that former President Jammeh will face justice,” he said.
But Jallow declined to immediately lay out a timeline. Victims groups have complained about how slow progress toward eventual prosecutions has been.
For Jammeh to face trial, Equatorial Guinea would have to agree to extradite Jammeh. Two-thirds of Gambia’s parliament would also have to approve a prosecution.
The TRRC report recommended either prosecutions or amnesties for additional officials. The government said it accepted a recommendation that former vice president Isatou Njie Saidy be prosecuted but rejected one that Jammeh’s number 2 during the 1994 putsch receive amnesty.
(With input from Reuters)