By Mustapha Jallow

The country’s Vice President and Minister of Women Affairs Ousainou Darboe, has on Tuesday urged his government to continue the commitment in the security sector reform (SSR). This remark was said at the opening of 2-days SSR for security head institutions and senior public servants at Kairaba Beach hotel.

According to him, this platform will provide the opportunity to discuss and improve the relationship between security sector reforms actors in pursue of meaningful provision of security, good governance and sustainability growth for the country’s economy.

He said: “The forum will not only enlighten the head of security institutions and public servants but would also galvanize knowledge through interactive session which the retreat is expected to provide.”  “We should be ready to give out full commitment and maximum support to the success of our SSR.”

VP Darboe concluded that this will familiarize all with the concept of the security sector and provide an opportunity for all participants to discuss the reform process in order to contribute to the development of an effective partnership and a proper coordination mechanism for our SSR process.

Speaking on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, Dr. Katepa Kalala, the FAO Rep said the ongoing formulation of the NSP will go a long way in creating a new sector that is responsive to the security needs of the state and human security of the citizenry under full democratic civilian control.

“The policy is expected to be launched by the end of October this year,’’ he said.

He said that many challenges continue to confront the SSR process and that there is still additional work to be undertaken to complete both a NSP and subsequently a National Security Strategy. He said this will define the strategic vision of the security sector of The Gambia and outline the strategic steps needed to achieve the stated goal.

On her part, Ms. Vabah Gayflor the ECOWAS’s special representative to The Gambia said: “No nation strives in prosperity and development with the absence of peace, security and stability.’’

She, however, continued that given the challenges facing to The Gambia at the end of 22 years of authoritarian rule by the past regime, this current administration decided to prioritize a series of reform initiatives for the prosperity of the country.

“There are key weaknesses and challenges identified in the National Security Assessment Report that require immediate attention by the government and its development partners which must be addressed to facilitate a smooth  transformation of the security sector institutions,’’ she said.

The President’s National Security Adviser, Momodou Badjie, said the forum is intended to provide an opportunity and a platform in which they will look at some of the critical issues with national key players and other actors to look at issues surrounding the SSR in The Gambia.

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