President Adama Barrow told regional and global leaders that cross-border collaboration is the best way to fighting terrorism and organize crime on the continent.
President Barrow told the 5th Dakar International Peace and Security Forum on Monday that the peace that Gambia enjoys is as a result of regional and international cooperation.
Gambia was plunged into a political crisis in December 2016 following the election defeat of former ruler Yahya Jammeh who refused to step down, claiming the polls were unfair.
The regional troops that are still in the country until 2019 being funded by the European Union with the help of the ECOWAS commission intervened to force Jammeh to relinquish power.
“The Gambia experience underscores the importance of regional and international solidarity and cooperation with sustained preventive diplomacy as important elements in peacebuilding and sustaining peace…,” Barrow said.
“Importantly too, national and regional strategies are necessary to support and uproot organize crimes especially the key threats to peace and security…”
The two-day meeting ended on Monday and President Barrow is due to arrive at the Banjul International Airport at 2 p.m.
The Gambian leader said elections that use to be a major source of violence in the continent are now accepted as the most credible means of transferring power.
“Unfortunately however, deep-rooted threats to peace such as terrorism, radical extremism, the spread of small arms and dangerous drugs and cross-border crimes, maritime piracy and human trafficking have increased with serious consequences worsen by poverty and youth unemployment,” Barrow said.
“Priority needs to be put on providing adequate resources, training and operational capabilities for the law enforcement agents to effectively address all security threats… Through peaceful coexistent, good governance and the creation of multiple avenues and opportunities for employment, we can similarly enhance peace and cohesion in our member countries.
“Besides these, our economic policies need to absorb the influx of the youths, open up new sources for them and harness their potentials to contribute to peace and stability…
“At the national level, it is essential to focus growth strategies on the labour intensive sectors and encourage the development of the informal sector through value-added production and international trade.
The Forum is organised by the Senegalese Government and the Pan-African Institute of Strategy, with the support of the French Ministry of Defense and the Association de soutien au Forum de Dakar.
The forum brings together heads of state and government, ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense ministers, military officials, representatives from regional and international institutions, experts, academic and civil society, think tanks and members of the private sector.