Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty has told law enforcement leaders in Senegal that The Gambia was ready to widen peace and security ties with the ally nation.
Fatty is leading a high level delegation to a landmark security cooperation summit in Dakar, Senegal – at the comradeship of his Senegalese counterpart Abdoulai Daouda Diallo.
The delegation includes the Inspector General of Police, Landing Kinteh, Fire and Rescue Chief, Roger Bakurin, Commissioner of Prisons, Ansumana Manneh, Drug Law Enforcement Director General, Bakary Gassama, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, Cherno Marenah and other senior government officials.
Minister Fatty who spoke alongside his counterpart at opening of the summit on Wednesday said the Summit was dedicated to advancing the strategic partnership between Senegal and The Gambia.
Fatty stated: “Given Senegal’s importance in the region, this trip is an important opportunity to build and strengthen our bilateral relations especially as it relates to security.
“We will be exploring together in the areas of border cooperation, illicit drug trafficking, counter-terrorism and sharing advancement in law enforcement research and innovation.
We believe strongly that collaboration between partners and allies is crucial to strengthen regional peace and security.”
Fatty said The Gambia and Senegal have good people-to-people ties and enjoy longstanding bilateral ties.
He added: [It’s] a relationship based on history, and shared values and traditions such as democracy and pluralism and respect for the rule of law. The Gambia and Senegal are very close. The strategic partnership between our two nations is evidence given the many recent trips by cabinet ministers on both sides.”
And he continued: “His Excellency President Adama Barrow and His Excellency Presideny Macky Sall are also engaged in very close and fruitful dialogue and these high level engagements speak volumes about The Gambia’s recognition of the extreme importance of Senegal, not only in the Senegambia area but in the dynamic Africa region and environment. Senegal has made major contributions towards consolidating security in West Africa and around the world including some of the most challenging peace-keeping missions in history.”
The Gambia through the Interior Ministry under the leadership of Minister Fatty is stoking efforts aimed at improving the national security system in line with current challenges.
Fatty said: “Our country has been engaged in some deep thinking in terms of our priorities and objectives over the past month. We are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of our security sector. The review is going to be rigorous and evidence based involving unprecedented consultations with Gambians in academia and experts and our friends and allies.
This process will examine three key topics. The first examined the main challenges to The Gambia’s security; the second assessed the Gambian law enforcement’s role in addressing the threats and challenges now and in future; the third area looked at what resources are required to effectively tackle these challenges. The input we received from consultations and our analysis of these key questions shall inform our new policy approach that reflects the vision we have for our country and where we are headed to in the coming years in terms of peace and security.”
On his part, Abdoulai Daouda Diallo, the Interior Minister of Senegal said the visit underlines excellent relationship between The Gambia and Senegal. He said cooperation between the two countries in the area of security was critical at a time when terrorism was taking a dangerous trend affecting all continents and regions.