‘Gambia’s transition on course’—ECOWAS ambassador
Vabah Gaflor was in attendance of the regional health experts meeting ahead of the minister’s meeting on Friday.
The ambassador of the Economic Community of West African States to The Gambia, Vabah Gayflor, said the political transition of the small country which is being supported by the regional economic bloc is on course.
Gambia is going through a political transition from a violent dictatorship to democracy under President Adama Barrow but the small nation currently faces series of challenges including slow economic growth and various security challenges.
Since Yahya Jammeh left power, the regional bloc that forced him into exile to Equatorial Guinea is supporting the transitional government that campaigned on a 3-year mandate.
“After 22 years of dictatorial rule, you will understand that a lot remains to be done but something is being done… The transition is on course…,” the Liberian national told Kerr Fatou.
The ECOWAS ambassador said they are supporting the security reforms agenda of the country national security adviser Momodou Badgie, a former general and a diplomat.
Gambia government has expressed desire to reform the country’s army, some key members of which were used by the former ruler to terrorize the population.
“We are working very closely with the office of the national security adviser who is leading the process on behalf of the Government… The committee is being chaired by the vice president… There is a senior security and defense adviser here sent in by ECOWAS working closely with the national security adviser,” Gayflor said.
“There are plans to bring trainers from ECOWAS for various security agencies to see how they work with them…”
However, Gayflor said the reforms agenda for all sectors can only be identified and led by Gambia.
“There has to be that national ownership,” she said.
Haruna Jatta’s death
It is a year since a native of Kanilai, Haruna Jatta, has been reportedly killed by a gunshot wound inflicted by regional forces.
Though Gayflor was not in the country when the incident occurred, she nevertheless said it “is regretted”.
She said they have plans to reach out to communities in Foni especially Kanilai after Ramadan.
“We have plans to go to Kanilai after Ramadan… to engage the community… How these communities have moved on is encouraging. We are here to support a peace process during the transition and we know that the Gambia is poised to move forward,” she said.
Meanwhile, Vabah Gaflor was in attendance of the regional health experts meeting ahead of the minister’s meeting on Friday.
The director of planning and research at West Africa Health Organisation, Salifou Zouma, updated the gathering on the health challenge facing the region and the successes.