President Adama Barrow has expressed his resolve to depoliticize the country’s security apparatus as Gambia is yet to recover from 22-year of dictatorship. The push made by the Gambian leader is part of plans to overhaul one of the sectors that constituted a central pillar of Yahya Jammeh repressive regime
“When my administration was sworn in last January, It was clear to us that we were taking over of a security sector that has been deeply politicized and not responsive to the needs of our people,” President Barrow said on Tuesday while launching the security sector reform project.
The violent legacy of Yahya Jammeh’s arbitrary has left a ‘climate of fear’ that many Gambians are still struggling to overcome. The security forces were on the front line in carrying out serious human right abuses. The United Nations, European Union, ECOWAS and the African Union are providing support for Gambia to close what appears to be a “dark chapter” in the country’s political history.
President Barrow said the security forces had over the past 22 years been molded mainly to focus on entrenching the former regime and pointed an accusing finger to some elements who were largely used by the regime to carry out atrocities against the people they were supposed to protect.
“My government initial assessment of the governance situation indicates that the weakness and wrongdoings were deeply entrenched,” he said.
The draconian rule and harsh punishments that Gambians went through have prompted authorities to act in order to put an end to this.
“This is why I have directed urgent reforms to be initiated to ensure an effective and accountable security sector, under democratic control with full respect for human rights, the rule of law as well as fundamental principles of good governance,” Barrow reiterated
Barrow pledged his administration’s commitment “to reset our direction, to reform and transform our security sector into an functional and effective one that delivers for the good of our people.”
Hopes are high to see the reforms initiated by Barrow government help to rebuild the army and security forces and turned them into instruments of state bound to protect the democratic system.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN