By Dawda Baldeh
The Gambia Center for Victims and Human Right Violations called for the immediate sacking of the Minister of Defense, Honorable Sheikh Omar Faye for using unpleasant words against the victims.
In an interview with the Fatu Network on “For the People By the People Show” held 4 April 2021. Minister Faye uttered words like, “let us suck it up, let us understand that we make mistakes. Let us stop crying over spilled milk. Let us look for a way out. Let us move on.” The victims and their families has seen the statement provocative.
“Sheikh Omar Faye will do anything to keep a job. He disrespected and insulted victims who suffered torture, rape, castration, force disappearances, killings, unlawful arrest and detention,” Sheriff Muhammed Kijera said while addressing victims at a press conference on 9 April 2021.
VC chairman Sheriff Muhammed Kijera said, the center is calling on the President to act immediately and sack Sheikh Omar Faye from Cabinet, people’s job. The statement uttered by Minister Sheikh Omar Faye is shocking and may insight violence and also a threat to the on-going TRRC. “The TRRC is doing a very good job and their efforts must not go in vein.” He added victims are very unhappy with the statement, coming from no other person but a cabinet minister, he said.
“Minister Faye is a perfect example of Ex-President Yahya Jammeh enabler in politic. He must apologize and resign from his position or the President must sack him. He should not to be called Honorable”, Kijera said.
Adama Jallow Victims Center National Coordinator said, the statement made by Sheikh Omar Faye has come at a time when the TRRC is at the tail end of its mandate and subsequent submission of its final report and recommendations to the government.
“His statement (Defense Minister) is a threat to the victims and their families who suffered seriously during the former regime and are still waiting for justice. We don’t expect such from a cabinet minister.” Jallow stated.
Jallow said the statement from the cabinet minister may affect the implementation of TRRC recommendations by the government as well as the healing process of victims.
“I am hopeful that the government will act swiftly on the provocative statement uttered by Sheikh Omar Faye, and have the political will to ensure that the TRRC recommendations are implemented accordingly.” John Charles Njie Chapman of TANGO said.
In reaction to rumors on return of Ex-President Jammeh:
VC Chairman Kijera said, if Jammeh come back to the country without facing justice, the Victims will take the streets to ensure Jammeh face justice for the violations he committed against human rights.
“We will not rest until Jammeh is arrested and taken to court if he comes back in this country.” He said.
Muhammed Sandeng, son of late Solo Sandeng, said victims should be given justice to heal their wounds. “We are all Gambians and we are all affected in one way or the other.” He said. “I thank the government for setting up the TRRC and am hopeful that they will implement the recommendations,” he ended.