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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Letters to the Editor

Perspectives on national security in New Gambia

Dear editor,

The rising trend of personal and communal insecurities around the country, in this regime of an open society in New Gambia more so now, in a local government election year is a matter of concern.


One year ago we changed from a presidential dictatorship to a government based on pluralistic democracy. In the science of government (Vicky Wicki) governments have a number of effects on citizens, by far, the most important of which is their militancy. As we consolidate democracy however, we would be getting closer as a nation of peoples. We would vote in elections in protest of issues and situations, but we would not rise up against the country. Together, we would protect our new found democracy and secure our collective future.

In practice democracy creates open societies and by nature open societies affect the environment of personal and collective securities in ways different than under a presidential dictatorship. In New Gambia citizens are going to take advantage of the new climate of freedoms, liberties and avenues for redress that are dispensed in the public space. The tendency to bypass the law will be higher in society, the task of national security is coordinated by government but in the end sustaining it is everybody’s business as persons, businesses, civic associations and members of local communities.


I believe that presently government will deploy every means available to maximize the state of national security. And in a strategic move, the office of the national security adviser is currently engaging partners and stakeholders in security sector reforms that should form the basis of a comprehensive national policy framework. This anticipated national security policy framework, proposed in the national development plan 2018-2021, is the first ever of its kind in the policy history of the Gambia, since independence.


To strengthen this initiative, and in support of the global need for the protection of national economies in this interconnected world, I think the international community should pay close attention to the risk that the country may slide back into the kind of chaotic presidential dictatorship it came from. Our international partners in globalization in particular must allow our public institutions, civil society organizations/NGOs and businesses available expertise and technology in security planning and management and support government and independent cooperation efforts in international advocacy and networking for world peace and security.

Kemo Conteh
Deputy coordinator, GNTT

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