United Nations assistant secretary general for peace building support, Oscar Fernandez Taranco, has ended a two-day visit to Gambia on Tuesday.
The UN diplomats on a two-day mission in Gambia have told journalists that the global body is offering a $3 million funding to help the small country strengthens its legal and governance institutions following a rocky transition.
“We have discussed the key priorities for sustaining peace in The Gambia, which are to be supported with an initial USD 3 million allocated by the UN peace building fund,” Taranco told journalists at a press conference following the end of their visit.
Gambia has gone through a difficult moment under its former ruler Yahya Jammeh during which scores of people were reportedly killed or disappeared.
Since Jammeh’s shocking election defeat, the new president Adama Barrow’s administration has been going after people who have been alleged to have committed crimes.
Currently there are 9 former security operatives who are standing trial over the killing of an opposition activist Solo Sandeng, but government is having difficulty exhuming the dead, analyzing and confirming its identity as well we cause of death and others technical issues.
“During the consultations, support to the justice sector, in particular capacity building of the judiciary, was also discussed. Strengthening of the justice sector will be a key element for strengthening the rule of law in the country and ensuring justice service delivery in accordance with international and regional standards, including for crimes committed in the past,” the UN diplomat said.
He also said the “establishment of an Independent National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) was also discussed as key oversight mechanism”.
“I think there is a very strong public demand to address the many injustices of the past and the imperative to actually focus on the due process of the law,” he added.
The UN diplomat has had discussions with President Adama Barrow and key government official as well as security people and the civil society.