By Omar Bah, Aisha Tamba & Awa Macalo
The Minister of Justice and chair of the SSR, Dawda Jallow has said government is committed more than ever to fully implement security reforms.
“I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate the government’s full and unwavering commitment to the implementation of the security sector reform,” Minister Jallow said at the launching of two strategic documents on National Security and the SSR.
Tuesday’s launching of the NSS and SSR strategies, Minister Jallow added, “is yet another demonstration of government’s unflinching commitment and priority to the transformation and development of the security sector of the Gambia.”
“As a country with a legacy of human right abuses, the government is acutely aware of the need for transformation and development of the security sector with the fervent belief of the contribution that the sector could make in the process of state building, democratization and peace building,” he said.
Minister Jallow said the national security strategy will help guide the implementation of the National Security Policy, build confidence in the security sector as defenders of citizens’ rights, enhance regional and international confidence and cooperation, establish a clear path for the implementation of the security sector reform agenda and mobilize funds to implement the strategies.
Momodou Badjie, National Security Adviser, said: “The National security strategy (2020-2024) is designed through vigorous consultation with all relevant stakeholders in a participatory manner to preserve Gambia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, promote and protect its national interests and ensure the wellbeing of all Gambians.”
“The NSS presents the guiding principles of Gambia’s security and its national interest and objectives, demonstrates the security environment surrounding the country and the challenges to our national security, and presents the strategic approaches that we should take individually and collectively as a nation to pre-empt, protect, prevent and defend against all challenges, natural and man-made disasters,” he added.
He said the strategy will scpabilities to security threats in an increasingly complex environment.”
“It is also envisaged to restore public trust and confidence by addressing post-authoritarian legacies, develop an overarching security governance framework, reform, empower and strengthen civilian management and oversight bodies an, address specific institutional reform activities and address cross cutting perennial challenges with a focus on gender, youth and disadvantaged people,” he said.
Badjie went on: “What we have achieved so far in developing these strategic documents and coming this far, is just a first step in our team work spirit. A bigger word awaits us all – the word of implementation. When we talk about implementation, we mean a stronger institutional collaboration, cooperation, and coordination among all the stakeholders i.e. state actors and non–state actors alike and our assistance in whatever way possible.”
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Seraphine Wakana said the SSR journey “may be long but it is worthwhile to ensure that the reform processes integrate human rights principles and standards and are comprehensive, simple, implementable, affordable and surely sustainable.”
“These buzz words may sound ambitious as we keep repeating them but they are indeed relevant towards ensuring that the security sector accountability and good governance frameworks are adhered to,” she added.
The launching of the documents is sponsored by the UNDP.