The visit was centered on urgent National Security Concerns including food security, domestic security and issues around corruption among others.
CEO Alasana Justice Jallow thanked the President for granting them the audience and to discuss pressing issues of national and human security with a view to addressing them.
CEO Jallow described the Peace Network as a ‘legally registered company focused on mediation, research, peace and security education. It comprises intellectuals, administrators, retired security officials and diplomats who are knowledgeable individuals in national and global peace and security matters.
“As professionals with theoretical and practical knowledge in peace and security matters, we believe that we will not do justice to this country if we do not sit with you and sincerely discuss the country’s security situation. We are involved into research, peace education and what we have discovered and seen are concerns and they require urgent attention from the government and all the Gambians: rise in the cost of living; rise in domestic crimes; the issues in Foni Region; corruption and rumors around corruption; tribal politics; and disinformation and misinformation. These are serious recipe for potential conflict and violence when not handled and addressed with diligence. They are key conflict indicators and they require attention your Excellency’, said Mr. Jallow.
Peace Network CEO informed the President that Peace Network is involved in peacebuilding, peace education and research. He urged government to prioritise and address issues raised to improve the living conditions and human security in the country. He believes these issues stated if not addressed will affect the national peace and security.
Among the speakers was Deputy CEO for Peace Network Professor Momodou Mustapha Fanneh. Professor Fanneh stated that Peace Network is established to complement government’s effort in national development by promoting peace and security through research, trainings and empowering youths to become self-reliant’.
Responding to the concerns, President Barrow extended profound gratitude to Peace Network Team for the visit and termed it as an important and worthy visit. He thanked the team for the foresight in coming up with this initiative to establish a local peace institution that is designed to contribute to peacebuilding in the country.
According to him, peace is important to achieve national development and hence his government is working day and night to ensure this country becomes the most peaceful country in the world.
Also, on the cost of living, the government is working with some serious partners to improve food security and reduce cost of living by promoting commercial agriculture. However, he was quick to note that such an undertaking also requires citizens’ participation in the agriculture and economic sector of the country.
On issues of corruption, ‘it is not easy to fight it if you do not have credible evidence to tender at court.’
“This is a democratic government, so we follow due processes of the law as a government when issues of corruption are raised. Sometimes, public opinion on corruption will force us to take actions against the accused persons but they end up winning the cases. This is simply because of insufficient evidence the Government tenders at court. We advocated for democracy when we were campaigning so accept decisions of the courts,” he stated.
Finally, the President encourages Peace Network Team to remain steadfast and continue to see the government as partner. “We will work with you to promote our national peace and security,” the President said.