By Kaddy Jawo
Head of security institutions, senior civil servants and international experts from Ecowas and the AU, ended a two-day retreat where they defined a pathway to reforming the country’s security sector.
National Security Adviser, Momodou Badgie, told journalists that they have identified “internal and external challenges” that militate against prospects of stability of The Gambia.
“Throughout our discussions, there have been common threats which commanded the consensus of all of us here. They are the dire need of strong ownership of the security sector reform process in The Gambia especially by government and the security institutions, the need to fund or mobilise resources for some of the priority projects and programmes,” he said.
The retreat was funded by Ecowas. The regional bloc is playing an active role in ensuring lasting security in the Gambia since the end of dictatorship in the country almost two years ago.
Other partners like the EU, Turkey, France and the UN continue playing key roles in the country’s security sector reforms process.
“We also need to accelerate the pace of our security sector reform process… we have realised that there is a need to regularise our joint meetings at the level of the security institutions”.
The former military colonel and diplomat, who served as ambassador to Turkey, added: “One clear idea that came out of our discussions is how much deficit we have in our security sector reform especially in terms of ownership, collaboration and coordination…”
Gambia went through two-decade dictatorship which commentators said has severely affected its military and other security institutions.
As a result, the relations between the country’s security and the population have been seriously affected.
Though a large number of the Gambia army had no records of killing for Jammeh, a tiny section called the Junglers were blamed for several murders, tortures and disappearances.
The retreat which was opened by the vice president Ousainu Darboe on Tuesday was led by country’s national security adviser, Momodou Badgie.