By Mustapha Jarju
Abubakarr Suleiman Jeng, the National Security Adviser to the President has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Security Sector Reform assessment report of 2017.
Mr. Jeng remarked at a recent media briefing that gathered different stakeholders aimed at widening the understanding of the public on the significant steps taken by the sector.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Jeng said the reform is not a one-off event but a dynamic and progressive process which aimed at benefiting Gambians.
“A political and technical process of improving state and human security by making security provision, management, and oversight more effective and more accountable, within a framework of democratic civilian control, rule of law and respect for human rights in tandem with the United Nations which was implemented in September 2017,” he said.
Highlighting the achievements since the beginning of the process, Jeng said the police hardly detained suspects beyond the 72 mandatories as constituted in the 1997 constitution, with a good policing approach as well as providing accountability and human rights.
For the national army, the security adviser said the sector is now focusing on its core mandate of safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country and also fostering civil-military relationships for better understanding.
“The SSR has also achieved in ensuring that security institutions moved away from being regime centered to focus on their core national security mandates which improve public trust in the security sectors and the government at large,” he said.
According to him, the sector is also focusing on capacity building to help in reducing human rights violations and abuses to ensure that security provides better service delivery to the citizens which is in line with global standards.
“Since the introduction of the SSR process in the Gambia, significant levels of reform activities have been undertaken in line with democratic principles and international standards, which includes, the establishment of the Office of National Security and appointment of a Security Adviser to coordinate the activities of all the security in the country ”, Jeng stated.
Mr. Jeng finally stressed that the reform process has also achieved the institutional development of Gambia`s security service, which includes the Army, Gambia Police Force (GPF), State Intelligence Service (SIS), Gambia Immigration Department (GID), Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEAG), Gambia Prison Service and the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services.