Seychelles’ truth and reconciliation commission: Interim report presented to the President
The Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (TRNUC) presented an interim report to Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalwan on Tuesday as the final report is not yet ready.
According to the chairperson of the Commission, Gabrielle McIntyre, the report contains certain elements that will be in the final report that will be presented at the end of its mandate.
It contains six volumes, which include the introduction, evidence and historical context, legal framework and approach to case determinations, amnesty, reparations and recommendations.
“We are working as fast as we can, where we hope we can present the final report in two to three months, with the case scenario being at the end of November. We really want to close the door as people have been waiting and it’s unfortunate that we could not finish on time,” said McIntyre.
She stated that there are still over 200 case definitions still pending which will be put in the final report.
The TRNUC was established in 2018 to work on settling past political divisions and grievances that were a result of the coup d’état in Seychelles on June 5, 1977.
One of the biggest concerns is the compensation that the victims are asking for. The chairperson of the TRNUC Victims committee, Barry Laine, said that the monetary reparations will vary from up to SCR 1 million ($77,400) for harassment and other acts to up to SCR 20 million ($1.5 million) for killing or disappearance.
McIntyre said that “the president needs to get a feel of what we have found and what we have based those findings on and then he needs to look at the reparations policy before he can formulate an opinion on the matter.”
The TRNUC’s mandate was due to end this month with the final report originally scheduled to be presented on Tuesday.
McIntyre said she hopes their mandate can be extended until the end of the year so that they continue their work in order to present a final report.
However, the National Assembly will have to give its approval for the extension.
Even if the Commission’s mandate is extended, McIntyre said she will be leaving Seychelles at the end of August but the work will not be affected, as they have adapted to working away from each other since the pandemic started.
With regards to reconciliation, which was part of the Commission’s mandate, she said that this has been a failing of TRNUC.
Through its investigations of the various complaints, the Commission’s aim was to unite the people of Seychelles around a common agenda that will help them move forward in confidence.
“I think that TRNUC has achieved a phenomenal amount, but it was limited as it never had the outreach capacity and if you really want to bring about reconciliation, I think that’s key. I think that’s a failing of the Commission as we could not go around and meet people and talk about reconciliation, where if we had the capacity, we could have driven a real movement of change,” McIntyre explained.