By Adama Tine
Dr. Isatou Touray, Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia has reaffirmed President Adama Barrow’s commitment to the Security Sector Reform (SSR), saying for the first time the country has a National Security Strategy (NSS) and a Security Sector Reform Strategy (SSRS) under President Barrow.
“These are all efforts to show that the government of President Barrow is committed to Security Sector Reform (SSR),” she said.
VP Touray was speaking on Monday during the launch of an Immigration Project which is aimed at strengthening the efficiency and accountability of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID).
The launch ceremony was held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre and it was funded by the Swiss Government and implemented by Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF).
VP Touray said: “In the aftermath of the Gambia’s December 2016 presidential election and assumption of the presidency by Adama Barrow, there was a clear need for a new people-centered national security policy to address the Gambia’s glaring security deficit.”
“There was a rising popular expectation for a streamlined, cohesive, participatory, civilian-controlled and transparent National Security Policy (NSP), for the “New Gambia,” predicated on human-security and this became a reality under Barrow’s government,” she also said.
According to her, for the first time in the history of the Gambia since independence in 1965, there is an NSP which spells out key roles, responsibilities, and mandates of vital security institutions, organs, agencies, and personnel in order to reconfigure the security sector to meet evolving national state and human-security needs, challenges, risks and opportunities well into the next decade of the twenty-first century.
“The Gambia’s new NSP will avail itself to periodic review and evaluation to reflect changing national, regional and global dynamics resulting in institutionalized checks and balances to strengthen various security service responsiveness,” she went on.
“There has been some tremendous progress or successes registered in the SSR, key amongst them are the review of the SIS Act, GPF Act, GAF Act and very soon the GID Act,” VP Touray further said.
Seedy Touray, director general of The Gambia Immigration Department (GID), said the GID is in compliance with the SSR process and implementation of the country’s National Development Plans. “We have developed and aligned our ten goals reforms agenda into our five years strategic plan 2019 to 2024 which again encompasses key areas identified by the DECAF,” he added.
Vincenzo Mascioli, director for International Affairs, State Secretariat for Migration of Switzerland, said: “Three principles are essential to our operation: trust, reliability and the spirit of partnership. It is in that sense, Switzerland might be able to support the Gambian path of a young democracy by supporting you in terms of building and developing your instructions,” he added.