Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty Wednesday promised to address the challenges of facilities, infrastructure and other challenges facing the Gambia Police Force.

Minister Fatty made the promise at the opening ceremony of a training of trainers’ workshop on human rights protection in law enforcement at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi, organized by the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa.

He said: “I know the police force and other agencies are working under extremely difficult conditions. The challenges are humongous [in terms] of facilities, infrastructure [and] capacity. We will get there.

“I’m with you… I understand your problems. I know how hard life is for you and how you struggle to make ends meet. I understand your problems of logistics, and I understand even your perennial issue of social responsibility.

“The police needs to be respected, and certainly we’re going to reform. We will review and expand. And we will make the force look attractive where community policing of which human rights is at the centre.”

Fatty told the trainee police officers that “the vision is to have the force service driven, and we must serve the people of this country.”

And he said: “I want the trainers who are here today to understand that you’re dealing with your own people. When we say we must respect the right of a subject not to be detained beyond the constitutional period, put yourself in their own shoe.”

Fatty added that on December 1, 2016, Gambians voted for a future in which their sovereignty and dignity will be upheld.

He said: “They voted not only to change their life or government but a system. They replaced it with something that they desire. They want their sovereignty and dignity to be upheld. The want constitutionality and rule of law. They want an enabling environment where they can realize their God-given talent.

“I’m tasked with internal security. Human rights is an integral component of security. [Human rights] is the foundation of good governance. You cannot talk about development if it is not centred on the human individual. And that’s why this training is absolutely essential. This training will ensure that the skills and new experiences you will have today, you share among all coordinating institutions and agencies under my ministry.

“Our constitution is one of the best. We have entrenched clauses that protect the fundamental rights and liberties of the individual. We don’t need more laws. What we need is the effective enforcement of the existing laws. And if we go by the dictates of the constitutions and the directive principles of state policies, I think we will find our job easier.”

Written By Lamin Njie 

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