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Parliamentarians Recommends Officers On Duty Be Armed

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Hon. Alamameh Gibba, MP for Foni Kansala, Nominated Member Kebba Lang Fofana and Sheriff Sarr, National Assembly Member for Jeshwang

By Buba Gagigo

In the wake of the shooting deaths of two Police Intervention Officers at Sukuta Traffic Light on Tuesday evening, at least three National Assembly Members have called for security officers to be armed.

On Wednesday morning, National Assembly Members Alamameh Gibba (Foni Kansala), Kebba Lang Fofana (Nominated), and Sheriff Sarr (Jeshwang) all called for security officers to be armed during a discussion on the matter in the National Assembly.

“Our country, the Gambia, the nation is tested yesterday, and we believe the law should take its course in making sure the perpetrators are brought to justice, and the law should take its course and make sure we defend the armed and security forces. The security force, especially those mountain strategic positions, be armed, the police act be reviewed to ensure that not just the police intervention unit are armed, but the general duty police drag law enforcement and other security apparatus be armed on duties,” the Foni Kansala MP said.

Hon. Gibba stressed the importance of the security force having their communication mechanism in place as soon as possible.

“It is sad to note that officers presently using outdated communication gadgets and designated devices like mobile phones when on duty,” he said.

The Foni Kansala NAM also recommends that the police officers establish a strategic quick response and backup security checkpoint immediately.

“The Gambia armed forces should be supported to immediately revitalize the quick reaction force to serve as a security backup for military and internal security apparatus. Since these subordinate officers are breadwinners of their families, their families will be supported, particularly during this difficult period. Similarly, the injured victims should be immediately taken care of to restore their full health. Finally, I call on the standing committee on defense and security to summon an emergency meeting with the relevant stakeholders to map out strategies to protect our noble officers,” he concluded.

Kebba Lang Fofana emphasized that Section 178 (2) stipulates that the police force shall be adequately furnished and sustained to fulfill its traditional duty of upholding law and order, as well as any additional responsibilities mandated by legislation passed by the National Assembly.

“I totally subscribed to the submission of the member of Foni Kansala. Let us arm our men in uniform. Not only the police, but the Drug Law Enforcement Agency as well. Many a time at committee level, they will come and tell us that their men will raid against people piddling drugs in this country, and they will be attacked,” he said.

Sheriff Sarr, the National Assembly Member for Jeshwang Constituency, echoed the points made by the National Assembly Member for Foni Kansala.

“I am with the member for Kansala with his recommendations. Let’s arm our men, let them give them these arms. They are not meant to be kept at a place. They are meant for them. Let’s have confidence in them. If they are not secure, who are we to say we are secure?” he asked.

The Gambia Police Force has confirmed that two of its officers were shot and killed at the Sukuta Traffic Light. A third person was also shot but survived. The alleged shooter is still at large.

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