By Olimatou Coker
Last week, the Gambia Police Force (GPF), Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) and the European Union hold a day long simulation exercise on crisis management with relevant stakeholders.
The intensive exercise held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center focused on assessing the police capacity to manage crisis at different levels of their command chain. It also seeks to strengthen the police ability to respond to crisis such as land dispute, regional and national security in line with the crisis management manual and police doctrine.
The simulation took a form of visual interactive exercise with a low-level land dispute between two neighbouring villages, escalating to various levels of conflict up to a state of emergency and later de-escalated.
According to the organisers, the exercise will help the police better understand how to manage crisis especially during the upcoming Local Government Elections.
The National Security Adviser, Abubakar Suleiman Jeng, said the ongoing Security Sector Reform (SSR) programme is designed to rebuild the country’s security institutions.
“The government remains committed to reforming the security sector to ensure it is democratically accountable, effective, efficient, apolitical, affordable, transparent, and responsive to the security, safety, and justice needs of the people based on democratic norms and principles,” he added
He disclosed that since the introduction of the SSR program in 2017, the country’s partners have continued to support the process which sets out the parameters necessary to enable the fulfilment of legitimate security functions through reforms, restructuring and institutional development.
“Significant reform objectives have been achieved already especially when it relates to capacity building and institutional development of the security services. So, the SSR is on course and the government is determined to ensure a logical end that will define the needed security architecture for the country,” Jeng said.
Ken Isaac, head of DCAF Banjul office said DCAF’s support to crisis management, leadership, command and control are key and critical components of the current project it is implementing in support of the SSR which is funded by the EU.
Sophie Frediani, principal program manager for DCAF said the aim of the simulation is to support the government’s effort to create a more efficient and accountable security sector, with specific emphasis on the police.
Lamin Bojang, commissioner of operation Gambia Police Force, commended DCAF and EU for facilitating the hosting of the simulation exercise, adding that it is timely and will help officers to effectively and efficiently carry out their mandate in terms of crisis management ahead of the Local Government election.