Seychelles' Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission to hear all evidence this year, then focus on report
Set up in 2018, the Commission's aim is to provide the public with the opportunity to settle past political divisions and grievances that began with the 1977 coup d'état. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission in Seychelles intends to finish hearing all evidence during 2021 so that it can focus the last six months of its mandate on the completion of its final report and case determinations, said the chairperson.
Set up in 2018, the Commission's aim is to provide the public with the opportunity to settle past political divisions and grievances that began with the 1977 coup d'état.
The chairperson of the Commission, Gabrielle McIntyre, said that the final report will aim to provide an accurate and objective public record of the complaints made and the determinations and recommendations. It will also provide information concerning amnesty proceedings of the Commission.
She said that the final report however may be significantly less comprehensive than the Commission would like.
“This is due to the fact that the Commission has been systematically denied the minimum resources it needs to carry out its mandate recommendations with respect to ensuring such violations do not recur,” said McIntyre.
The prohibition on hearings for the first three months of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to logistical issues and there was a need to reschedule cases, but that did not unduly impact the Commission’s operations.
“This is because hearing of complaints is just one small part of the work of the Commission," said McIntyre.
The Commission started hearing cases in August 2019 and has two and a half years left to complete its work. According to section 11(2) of the Truth, Reconciliation & National Unity Commission's Act 2018, the Commission is required to submit interim reports to the President every six months. The final report of the Commission will be made at the conclusion of all its inquiries.
According to the Commission, since the hearing proceedings has commenced it has heard over 670 complainants with witnesses and suspects in 158 days of hearings.
The Commission has just under 200 cases left to be heard, all of which have been scheduled for taking up to February 2022.
"The commission is continuing to investigate its cases. It is also organising, transcribing and translating the hearing record. Determinations are being drafted and investigations closed in those cases in which investigations have been completed," said McIntyre.
In addition, the commission has drafted its amnesty procedures and is preparing the template for amnesty petitions. It has prepared the outline for its final report and commissioners are drafting chapters for that report.
The commission has also worked to develop and carry out surveys to inform its approach to reparations, including compensation, and to amnesty proceedings.
"In view of the fact that one of the major aims of the commission is to bring about reconciliation, it is important that the wider community understands and contributes to the policies that will guide its approach to these two issues," said McIntyre.
The report will be submitted to President Wavel Ramkalawan, who shall make it public and lay a copy before the National Assembly within one month of receiving it.