Commonwealth report indicts gov’t over failure to investigate NIA Director
Commonwealth report indicts gov’t over failure to investigate NIA Director over past crimes, retention of former operatives. A Commonwealth report on The Gambia has highlighted the government’s failure to investigate a former director of NIA for involvement in extra-judicial actions under Jammeh. The report to be made public at the Commonwealth heads of Government meeting in London on April 16 ,also touched on the retention of operatives engaged in past persecutions.
The report made available to Gunjur News Online recounts: “President Barrow confirmed to us that the National Intelligence Agency had ‘been responsible for disappearances without trial.’ President Barrow has changed the name of the Agency to the State Intelligence Service, and nine former National Intelligence Agency personnel are now awaiting trial, including the former head. However, 80% of the Agency’s workforce remains in post, and the former Director who is alleged to have been involved in extra-judicial actions has not been investigated. There has been a general caution in dismissing Jammeh functionaries, and The Gambia lacks capacity to conduct large numbers of multiple investigations and trials, but it is essential that perpetrators of some of the most violent crimes under the Jammeh system are investigated swiftly”. The report further disclosed: “The National Intelligence Agency was rooted in the beginning of the Jammeh System. It was created by Decree 45 of the AFRPC in 1996. It was the most brutal enforcement arm of the Jammeh System, and despite a name change we heard concerns over the fact that many senior staff are still in the service. During the years of its existence the National Intelligence Agency was repeatedly accused of torture, and we were told was responsible for ‘most’ severe political rights violations. Decree 45 continued after the introduction of a new Constitution in 1996 allowing the Agency to operate beyond the system legally constructed to govern the security services”.