On 24th November 2020, the government of The Gambia invited all stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations, Women Groups, Religious Leaders, Media, physically challenged people, Multilateral Organizations to officially launch the National Security Strategy (NSS) and The Security Sector Reform Strategy (SSRS). The ceremony was presided over by the National Chair of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) Steering Committee, Hon. Minister of Justice Dawda Jallow and attended by the Secretary General and several government ministers and the diplomatic corps. The UN Resident Coordinator also graced the occasion and delivered a statement on behalf of the UN family and international partners.
In 2017, a comprehensive SSR assessment was carried out to ascertain the gaps and malfunctions of the security sector inherited from the repressive regime of Yahya Jammeh. The assessment concluded with recommendations for a wide range of activities to be carried out to enable the sector to be transformed to meet people’s aspirations under a democratic dispensation. Several reform activities have been implemented (since the endorsement of this assessment report in December 2017) in furtherance of Government’s aspirations to transform the security sector into a more accountable, efficient and effective institution under a civilian control with respect for the rule of law and human rights.
The official launching of a National Security Policy by H.E the President, Adama Barrow, was carried out in June 2019 to provide the necessary overarching governance framework for the security sector. This achievement was a critical milestone that triggered important entry points to further establish the enabling mechanisms to enhance the reform process and to provide a people-centered national security. Two cardinal tools in this process are:
ii. The Security Sector Reform Strategy (SSRS).
The NSS on the one hand, has been developed to support the implementation of the National Security Policy. It outlines the government’s plan to implement the National Security Policy. The SSRS on the other hand, aims to describe The Gambia’s plan to implement the findings and recommendations of the SSR Assessment Report (alluded to above) to transform the security sector as envisioned in the National Development Plan (NDP). The development of these two documents was largely supported by the UNDP through a PBF funded initiative, (with contributions by other partners like the EU and ECOWAS) under the leadership of the National Security Adviser.