By Juldeh Njie
The Turkish National Police organised a training for 61 Gambian security personnel on VIP protection and traffic management, as part of preparations for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit billed for November this year.
The summit is expected to be attended by the rulers and the heads of state and government of its 57 members.
The training was initiated by the Gambia Government through the Ministry for the Interior in collaboration with the OIC Secretariat. The 61 personnel graduated Wednesday.
In his address to the graduating officers at Police Intervention Unit headquarters in Kanifing, deputy commissioner of operations, Lamin Bojang, said the 61 officers were drawn from various security agencies including the police, Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (DLEAG) SIS, PIU and immigration.
The commissioner said all security departments would work together to making sure the OIC summit takes place in safety.
“The training will enhance their capacity to manage the traffic effectively before, during and after [the summit]. So this is important because it will enable them to deal with the public,” he added.
Assistant Inspector General of Police, Landing Bojang, thanked the government of Turkey for the “knowledge sharing” during the training, especially at a time when The Gambia is preparing to host one of the world’s biggest submits.
He said after deep reflections in view of the “volatile security environment globally, the government deemed it necessary to prepare the security services adequately.”
He said: “Policing everywhere requires continuous training to keep track with the changing trends of crime and criminality.”
The Turkish ambassador to The Gambia, Ismail Sefa Yüceer, said the government of Turkey will continue to support The Gambia police to build capacity.
Ambassador Sefa said a “great number” of Gambian police have undergone trainings in Turkey.
“I am sure that the Gambian police still have the capability to deal with all possible challenges or threats that will be levied on them.
“We will do our best to support our Gambian brothers and sisters during this submit. A team from The Gambia will go to Ankara for a training in the coming weeks and months.”
ASP Lamin Sanneh, one of the participants, assured Gambians that there “will not be any security problems” during the summit.
The Islamic Summit takes policy decisions and provides guidance on all issues pertaining to the realisation of its objectives as provided for the OIC Charter and consider other issues of concern to the member states and the ummah. This meeting is held once every three years.