Moves to establish court to try The Gambia’s ex-ruler

The Gambia’s Justice Minister Dawda Jallow has held discussions with senior officials of the regional body, Ecowas, to establish a hybrid court to prosecute former President Yahya Jammeh for alleged human rights abuses during his 22-year rule.

Mr Jammeh’s 22-year rule which ended in 2017, was characterised by alleged human rights abuses.

Earlier this year, a government white paper recommended that Mr Jammeh and 69 others be prosecuted for alleged crimes committed during his rule, from July 1994 to January 2017.

He denies wrongdoing.

Mr Jammeh currently lives in exile in Equatorial Guinean but commands significant support among Gambians. He fled The Gambia in 2017 after losing elections to current President Adama Barrow.

There are growing calls for Mr Jammeh to be prosecuted but there are concerns that it might endanger security and stability.

Members of what has been alleged to be Mr Jammeh’s killing squad – also called the Junglers – are facing prosecution in Germany, Switzerland and the United States.

Other members are hiding in West African countries, while others who were arrested and testified at The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) are working freely in The Gambia and are yet to face prosecution.