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City of Banjul
Friday, January 15, 2021

The security issue

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Hardly a month passes by without reports of some soldier or the other being arrested and accused of one crime or another. This has almost become a routine now; here a soldier is arrested for stealing, there another is arrested for robbery and recently, another is arrested for losing a gun.

With the somewhat fragile nature of the security situation in the country, reports like these do not boost the confidence of the ordinary citizens. One can imagine what the ordinary citizen will think if the very institutions that are tasked with the provision of protection and security are themselves unable to secure their own institutions and unable to control their agents.

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Last week, it was reported that some military officers were arrested for possession of drugs and are still being held at the Fajara Barracks. If the very people who are to oversee the implementation of the laws of the land are the very ones breaking the law then one may conclude that the security is fragile, to say the least.

The question now being asked is: What the situation of the so much talked about the Security Sector Reform is and how far has it gone? It is indeed necessary for the SSR to look into and consider all these angles and come up with a comprehensive way to deal with the very many and complex security issues in the country.

It is a well-known fact that without security there cannot be any semblance of progress and therefore the other reforms are certainly inextricably linked with the reform of the security sector. They are like two sides of a coin; one cannot go without the other.

The Ministry of Defense should work closely with the Ministry of the Interior to come up with a way to resolve all these issues and put a mechanism in place which will resolve these issues once and for all. This is more so when recently some Senegalese soldiers wandered into some parts of the country.

The citizens of the country need to feel safe and secure in their homes and be confident that should any security issue arise, there is a force that will handle it professionally to ensure that their lives and properties are safe.

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