By Adama Tine
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) the Gambia Secretariat on Monday commenced a two-week capacity building training for the Gambia’s security personnel at the headquarters of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) in Kanifing.
The training is part of ongoing preparatory efforts for the successful hosting of the OIC Heads of State and Government Summit scheduled to be held in The Gambia next year.
The training for the security would be conducted under the auspices of a technical assistance programme between the governments of The Gambia and Turkey.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Yankuba Dibba, Chief Executive Officer of OIC Gambia Secretariat said the training will impact positively in maintaining peace and stability in the country.
Dibba said 50 security personnel will benefit from the high-level training in the areas of protection of important facilities against terrorist attacks, and VIP protection and handling. He added that the capacity-building programme is part of OIC Gambia’s goal of equipping the police and other security services with modern apparatus and technical know-how to keep the streets of the Gambia safe during the summit and beyond.
“We hope to train more than 2000 security personnel before the Summit,” he revealed.
“With the increase in terrorist activities around the world, particularly in the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa, the topic couldn’t have been timelier. As we host the world next year, we are not taking national security for granted, which is why we are engaged in constantly improving our forces’ engagement readiness and capability,” Mr. Dibba also said.
Adeline Basangeh, Commissioner of the Police Intervention Unit highlighted that the Gambia Police Force has taken a very important stride to prepare its men and women in uniform to take up the task ahead. “Over the years, the Gambia Police Force has conducted a series of training knowing that securing a very high-profile event like the OIC which is the second largest in the world is not an easy task,” PIU Commissioner Basangeh said.
His Excellency Tolga Bermek, Ambassador of Turkey to The Gambia explained how his country is helping The Gambia to successfully host the OIC summit.
“We have shared our experiences with Gambian officials on protocol issues two years ago. Now another protocol team will visit Banjul next month for additional training. We have also provided training for GRTS officials on television production techniques two years ago,” he said.