Executive Secretary of Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow has appointed Alagie Barrow as the Commission’s Director of Research and Investigations.
Mr. Barrow’s appointment is in accordance with Section 24 (1) of the TRRC Act, 2017. He will oversee and direct the work of a team of researchers, investigators and statement takers and work closely with the Executive Secretary and Commissioners to deliver on the mandate of the TRRC.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Mr. Barrow; who is said to have no relation to President Adama Barrow, holds a BSc. degree in Criminal Justice from Tennessee State University with a minor in Psychology and an MA degree in National Security Studies from the American Military University in Charles Town, West Virginia.
He served over a decade with the US Military where he rose to the rank of Captain before resigning in January of 2014 (honorable). Mr. Barrow also possesses diplomas in counterintelligence, civil disturbance and physical security through his work in the US Military where he held other responsibilities including Career Counselor, Program Manager, Public Affairs Officer and Executive Officer.
Through the years, Mr. Barrow is said to have served the US military as Victim Advocate, Suicide Prevention Officer and Unit Prevention Officer (illicit drugs). His duties included conducting investigations through interviews, gathering facts, retrieving records, analyzing information, and writing reports and recommendations.
He has also worked as an investigator and security consultant for security organizations in the US and as a short-term contract field investigator here in Africa. Mr. Barrow has volunteer experience as a Juvenile Justice advocate with the Nashville Juvenile Justice Center where he worked with troubled youths.
He has also worked as an instructor of military courses at Vanderbilt University Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and has been to various leadership schools in the U.S. military, the last being the Captain’s Career Course where some of the courses taught included Casualty Assistance and Operations, Counterinsurgency and Full Spectrum Operations.
Alagie Barrow recently relocated back home to The Gambia and has been working as a Country Director for a Gambia consultancy firm with oversight of the Anglophone sub region until his appointment with the TRRC.
As a direct result of 22 years of authoritarian rule in The Gambia, human rights violations were widespread. In most cases, there was no effective investigation and perpetrators have not been brought to justice. On 13 December 2017, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRC) Act was adopted by the National Assembly and assented to by the The President on 13 January 2018.
The TRRC Act provides for the establishment of the historical record of the nature, causes and extent of violations and abuses of human rights committed during the period July 1994 to January 2017 and to consider the granting of reparation of victims.
Mr. Barrow reacted to the appointment, saying, “I am grateful to the TRRC team for this opportunity. It is a monumental task and I am profoundly humbled by the trust and responsibilities that come with the position. I am confident that as a team we will do what is right by all victims and what is right by our country to ensure that we will never have to establish such a commission again.”
“We are convinced that Barrow is the perfect candidate for this very challenging and crucially important position,” said TRRC Executive Secretary Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow. “We interviewed many excellent candidates but Barrow just stood out and we are very happy to have him on our leadership team.”
By Amadou Jallow