Gambia’s Defence Minister Sheikh Omar Faye has come under intense pressure from victims of the former regime as he urged them to stop reliving the past and move on.
The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations (GCVHRV) has on Tuesday evening expressed its disappointment at the utterance made by gov’t top official, calling it “irresponsible and callous.”
On 4th April, 2021, Defence Minister Faye granted an interview to the online news site Fatunetwork in which he said, ” “Let us suck it up, Let us understand that we made mistakes, Let us stop crying over spilled milk, Let us look for a way out, Let us move on.”
“The Victims Center is dismayed by this frivolous statement from Hon. Faye, and as a result, the Center cannot let it go without expressing its repugnance to such irresponsible and callous remarks,” the Kololi-based victims’ center said in a news dispatch obtained by this medium.
As the public hearings of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) continue to unveil the harsh reality under the Jammeh regime, an urgent demand for justice is gradually taking shape. Testimonies made by former members of the kill team are expected to convince the most skeptical people.
The victims’ center went further to describe the statement as “totally unacceptable,” adding that it “deserves absolute condemnation to the strongest terms.”
The center then called on the Defence Minister to resign or to be relieved from his post by President Adama Barrow. The victims are also demanding an apology from Minister Sheikh Omar Faye.
Faye’s interview with Fatunetwork has also drawn switch condemnation from Citizens Alliance (CA) and United Democratic Party (UDP).
The Citizens Alliance has thrown its weight behind the victims and has condemned the statement made by Gambia’s Defence Minister describing it as “insensitive” to the unfortunate situation a good number of victims have gone through and still seeking redress.
“Let us be reminded that the Truth and Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was established to help Gambians know the truth about the human rights violations that happened in the country, seek justice for victims and come to terms with the past,” CA added in a succinct statement issued today and posted on Facebook.
The UDP also added its voice to the chorus of recriminations, decrying gov’t resounding silence over the statement made by Sheikh Omar Faye.
The UDP called out the government spokespersons’ for remaining “muted about these insensitive remarks.”
” It has not taken any decisive steps to reassure the many victims and their families and to Gambians at large of the Jammeh regime that the remarks of the Defence Minister does not represent the position of the government and that the government is still committed to delivering justice for the many victims of the Jammeh regime,” the UDP deplored in its statement.
The UDP seized the opportunity to call on President Barrow “to act responsibly” and “do the needful to reassure and convince the victims of the Jammeh victims” about his government commitment to making sure that those responsible for gross human violations will face the law…
Written by Abdoulie John
Join The Conversation