By Omar Bah
The government has commissioned a committee of 20 drafters with ten for each strategic document to draft the country’s National Security and Security Sector Reform (SSR) Strategies in twelve weeks.
The key objective of the two strategies is to help government in implementing the country’s National Security Policy and as well address the gaps identified by SSR assessment.
In 2017, President Barrow launched the SSR project “to ensure an effective and accountable security sector under democratic control with full respect for human rights, the rule of law, and fundamental principles of good governance”.
Speaking at the commissioning of the twenty-man committee, the Minister of Justice who also doubles as the chairman of the chairing committee of National Security Policy, Abubacarr Marie Tambadou called on the drafters to be concise, concrete and conclusive in their drafting.
He assured them of the government’s “unflinching support”.
The UN resident coordinator in The Gambia, Ms Seraphine Wakana, said she was heartened that the reforms have taken significant steps in addressing the major gaps which the SSR assessment found.
“The National Security Policy is completed and only awaiting official launching. With the completion of both the assessment report and the National Security Policy you can be assured that the UN is committed to continue to provide the necessary support for the next step to be taken to ensure that these two policy frameworks are implemented in detail,” she added.
“The UN in addressing security sector programmes has learnt through experience that while such plans must be comprehensive, they also must be more importantly simple, implementable and affordable within the context of the country,” she explained.
She urged the drafters to be mindful of the important connection between security and development.
“Without development, there cannot be security and without security there cannot be development. The Gambia like any other UN member state cannot afford all what it yearns for. The technocrats must consider other sectors of development. We hope you will be able to finish by the deadline of 12 weeks,” she concluded.