By Aja Dahaba
The commissioning of Drafters of National Security and Security Sector Reform was recently presided over in a ceremony held at the president’s conference hall in Banjul.
The commissioning was the beginning of an enormous collective effort that could take ninety (90) days of hard work and personal commitment.
Drafters have been selected from all institutions and ministries to kick-start the drafting of the National Security Strategy and the Security sector Strategy.
The strategic document they are about to draft, officials said should help lay a solid foundation for a better Gambia by building on opportunities and aspirations as articulated in the national security policy. This will set the stage to propel the nation to greater security, unity, equity, justice and a prosperous Gambia where respect for rule of law and integrity are accepted guidelines and norms.
Mai Ahmed Fatty Special Adviser to the President outlined that the commissioning is part of making history as it is the first time the country is formulating a national security strategy as well as a security sector reform strategy.
He disclosed that quite often people distinguished between national security and socio-economic development this he said are closely linked as such one cannot exist without the other. While traditional security according to him has been understood in terms of protection of the people and properties and the defense of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
However, the concept of national security has been broaden to include non-traditional softer aspects of security, this now make it a bit complicating to device a comprehensive strategy for national security, thus as drafters, you have a complex and enormous task ahead that would demand much of your time, efforts and attention he adduced.
The Special Adviser rated they recognized that until the security and other development sectors are transformed to their fullest, their hopes for a stable, peaceful and flourishing Gambia will be a little more than a dream.
The UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Seraphine Wakana underscored their commitment to continue to provide the necessary support for the next steps to be taken to ensure that these two policy frameworks are implemented in detail with the completion of both the assessment report and the national security policy.
She added that they will represent the government’s plans for the comprehensive implementation of the National Security Policy and the findings and recommendations for the SSR assessment report respectively.
She urge the drafters, the technocrats, must pay attention to the other sectoral demands for socio-economic development as they craft what they assess as needful in the pursuance of the national security sector.
‘The UN, in addressing security sector reform programs, has learnt through experience that whilst such plans must be comprehensive, simple, implementable and affordable within the context of the country. We must be mindful of the important connection between security and development’.
The chairman of the steering committee and Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambedou and the minister of justice emphasized that the future of the country lay on this process that it is the pillar or foundation that everything about Gambia is going to be build.
He told the drafters that they have a very important task to do that will produce quality work for the whole nation.
He reassured the government’s commitment to provide all the necessary support need to exercise their work in connection to the action plan that will guide the reform process.
“My advice is that be guided by three seeds: be coincide, be concrete and be conclusive he remarked”
A total of twenty (20) drafters are selected with 10 drafters to each of the two strategic documents.
By Aja Dahaba