The National Security Adviser, Momodou Badgie, said Friday that plans are on high gear for the National Security Council (NSC) to hold a consultative forum on the draft National Security Policy (NSP).
He made this announcement during a news conference held at State House in Banjul. The move comes at a time Gambia government has launched a complete overhaul of the Security Sector with a view to “making it more responsive to the security and justice needs of the country.”
Launched in 2017, the Security Sector Reform (SSR) is expected to bring major shift as the ongoing reform will help the sector to move from a State-centred to a People-centred security apparatus. The initiative has got the backing of regional and international partners such as ECOWAS, United Nations and European Union.
“Probably the most critical deficits that perpetuated the malfunctions of the Gambian security sector was the absence almost completely of overarching policies which describe the security institutions beyond the Constitutional provisions,” Badjie said.
The West African nation is emerging from two-decade long Jammeh dictatorship which was marked by arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, among other human rights violations.
Scheduled to take place on 20 and 21 September 2018, Badgie said the two-day event will bring together participants from key stakeholders and government institutions.
“Civil society organisations, Ombudsman Office, Human Rights Institutions, opinion and religious leaders, academics and the press,” he said, revealing that the consultative forum will work on the thematic areas centred on: strategic context; threats and challenges; framework of national policy; gender mainstreaming in the security sector; and security sector institutions.
In light of this, Badgie noted that the inclusive process initiated by the NSC stands on a solid foundation, a sine qua non for the establishment of a National Security apparatus, operating “under the mantle of rule of law and respect for human rights principles.”
Speaking earlier, The Gambia Government’s Spokesperson, Ebrima G. Sankareh, laid out the reasons that prompted the government to initiate a Security Sector Reform (SSR), saying the army was used by ex-dictator Jammeh as “an instrument of oppression.”
He lauded President Adama Barrow government for putting the country back on the path to democracy and the rule of law.