Reconciliation will be our priority— Gambia’s President elect

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

President elect Barrow listening to Halifa Sallah at one of their meeting grounds during campaign…

Gambia’s president elect, Adama Barrow, has insinuated that his predecessor President Yahya Jammeh might not be tried for his alleged human rights violations after they take over power in January, though there will be an inquiry into his past activisties while in power.

Barrow who has had an hour press conference with journalists in the late evening at Kairaba Beach hotel said their administration will establish truth and reconciliation commission to “know the truth and reconcile”.

“We have contest elections on principles. Personal issues are not important to us and when we get to office, we will look into what happened and there will be recommendations. And I think also truth and reconciliation commission will be very important. We have seen it in South Africa. It was very helpful because we will know the truth and we will reconcile. That will be our priority,” he said when asked of the fate of the outgoing president.

He also added that “even if” Jammeh were to be tried, “we will have competent people with integrity who can handle those kinds of proceedings in Gambia”

Barrow who promised to repeal all laws restricting media freedom, freedom of assembly and association, has added that their government will be very friendly to the media.

 “This government will be very friendly to the media. We value information because this is what enlightened the people. The social media was very helpful to our campaign. We will revisit the media laws so that we can bring good laws to build our democracy,” he told journalists.

The president elect has also confirmed to the media that the country’s top military leader, Ousman Badgie, has called to congratulate him and pledge his loyalty to their government.

“The chief of defence staff called me sometimes last week. This call was a very important call. In every country security is very important…,” Barrow said.

“He said they were loyal to Yahya Jammeh because he was the elected president. And he said they are behind us 100%. I think that was very good and that boost our confidence.”

Barrow promised to improve the economy of the country and stem illegal migration by creating jobs for the youths.

He said December 2 election that ousted the country’s longstanding leader “was a turning point in the history” of The Gambia and “with perseverance and courage” Gambians have done what “everybody thought it was not possible”.

“We will create jobs for the youths. We will also give increased budget allocations to the youths a serious consideration,” he said.

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