The Ministry of Justice wishes to inform the general public that it has requested The Gambia Police Force to arrest and detain Mr John C.B. Mendy who was attempting to leave the country today, 2 April 2019, for Casamance in the southern region of Senegal through the Giboro/Sileti border crossing.

The public will recall that Mr J.C.B. Mendy appeared before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on 19 and 20 March 2019 and testified about many events including the 11 November 1994 incident.  Based on a totality of the evidence adduced before the TRRC so far, and in light of other available evidence in the possession of the TRRC, it was evident that Mr J.C.B. Mendy was “outrageously dishonest” in his testimony about his role in several incidents of violence. Mr Mendy’s “outrageous dishonesty”, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, betrayed a lack of empathy towards the families of the victims and the unwillingness to cooperate and assist in the reconciliation process in the country. Consequently, the Attorney General, in order to encourage truth-telling before the TRRC and strongly discourage any attempts to deliberately conceal the truth in the face of mounting evidence, recommended the immediate dismissal of Mr J.C.B. Mendy and requested the cooperation of his employers at The Gambia International Airlines (GIA) in this regard.

The Ministry wishes to re-iterate its call for all witnesses who appear before the TRRC to be truthful at all times especially in respect of their involvement in human rights violations and abuses. The country needs to establish the truth about these events and the families of the victims deserve to know the truth about their loved ones. The perpetrators are particularly encouraged to be truthful and to take advantage of the amnesty provisions at the TRRC and give reconciliation a chance. The Ministry would like to further reassure the general public that the TRRC process is not a witch hunt and that there is no need for anyone to abscond from the country, but that any attempts to deliberately conceal the truth in the face of overwhelming evidence will be regarded as an attempt to undermine the integrity of the process, and an unwillingness to cooperate and assist in the reconciliation process, and will therefore bear serious consequences.

Meanwhile, the public will be informed about further developments in the J.C.B. Mendy case as it unfolds.

Ministry of Justice

2 April 2019



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