By Kebba Jeffang

The National Security Advisor, Momodou Badjie said the Security Sector Reforms (SSR) report has indicated the existence of abuse, malfunctions and gender bias within the security sector during the past regime but assures the creation of professional security sector for the country.

“The basic of the security sector reform is to transform the sector to make it very effective, professional and accountable to the civilian authority,” he told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday, July 18.

He said the past government has experienced some authoritarian rule and abuse of security sector to the extent that the sector was not adhering to the core principles thus it lacks the requisite protection that was expected from the population.

“Essentially we have a new government and a new dispensation therefore it should correspond with the new security sector,” he said.

Badjie, who was one time a senior member of the Gambia Armed Forces said the president has expressed desire to reform most of the sectors to ensure that they correspond to the democratic norms including the security sector.

He said after the launch of the Security Sector Reforms, the first exercise they embarked on was the nation-wide consultation and assessment across the country. He said the facts collection mission would help the government to take a decision on how to implement the sector reforms to be able to achieve the desire and the needs of the people.

“When we completed our assessment, the report indicated some findings most of which are talking about malfunctions, lack of adequate training, logistics, abuse, inequity in terms of gender, meaning it is not inclusive.

When we completed and got these findings, basically, from our own reviews, meetings and consultations with other people such as the academia, Civil Society Organisations, etc, we have some recommendations which are going to stand as guidelines for the implementation of the Security Sector Reforms,” he said.

He informed that during the assessment, one of the key and overarching issues that were highlighted was the absence of the key legal framework that were needed to spell out the mandate and functions of the respective security institutions.

According to him, it is based on this they realised the necessity to put the formulation of the national security policy as a very high priority.

“We also found out that there is need to be inclusive if we want to have full participation of the populace and that is why we are training the security officers on gender-responsiveness so that at the end of the training, our respective security institutions will be responsive to gender issues.

Security officers from different disciplines of the country will wrap up the week training on gender responsiveness today at the Officers Mess in Kololi.

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