By Buba Gagigo
President Adama Barrow, launching the Defence Policy on Wednesday, said that his government takes security sector reforms seriously as part of the country’s development agenda.
“This development is a clear testimony that my government takes the security sector reforms seriously on our development agenda. Our commitment to the reforms is in recognition of the fact that, without security, peace, and stability, economic growth cannot be achieved,” the president said.
The president said that the National Defence Policy was a recommendation from the security sector reform agenda, and that it was created in response to the need to critically evaluate the defence sector and identify its weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities.
“The goal of this undertaking is to transform The Gambia Armed Forces into a highly professional, well-trained, and disciplined unit that is responsive to the needs of the country, through the effective and efficient delivery of security services under democratic oversight and conditions.
“Providing Defence and security is a complex endeavour; therefore, as a country, we cannot ignore, underestimate or downplay our security risks. Thus, it is crucial to determine our national priorities and adopt implementable policies consistent with them,” president Adama Barrow said.
President Barrow also implores the Ministry of Defence to take full responsibility for the policy implementation process and ensure that the ‘much-anticipated’ outcomes of the reforms in the Defence Sector are achieved.