The Ministry of Defence in partnership with the British Government on Wednesday 24th February 2021 inaugurated the National Defence Policy Drafting Committee at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo. The Historic event was graced by the Honourable Minister of Defence, the British High Commissioner to the Gambia, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, the National Security Adviser amongst a host of other dignitaries.
Being the first of its kind in the History of the Gambia since Independence, the Defence policy will be the most important document that will guide the Ministry of Defence in its mandate to more effectively function as an oversight body to the Gambia Armed Forces, in ensuring full civilian control over the Armed Forces as enshrined in the Security Sector Reform recommendations.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces Major General Mamat O. Cham expressed utmost delight to be part of this historical moment. Major General Cham went on to highlight the significance of the Defence Policy in the on-going Security Sector Reform.
The National Security Adviser, Retired Colonel Momodou Badjie on his part seized the opportunity to thank the President of the Republic of the Gambia His Excellency, Mr Adama Barrow, the Honourable Minister of Defence Ambassador Sheikh Omar Faye and the British High Commissioner, His Excellency David Belgrove OBE for their relentless efforts in achieving the progress so far. He urged the drafters to develop a viable Defence Policy that would stand the test of time.
The British High Commissioner to the Gambia His Excellency David Belgrove OBE expressed delight in the progress made so far in the security sector reform process; the formulation of the Defence policy to be precise. He applauded the renewed partnership between the Government of the Gambia and the British Government especially in the areas of Defence and Security. He continued to assure the British Government continuous support to the on-going SSR.
The Honourable Minister of Defence, Ambassador Sheikh Omar Faye expressed overwhelming joy in witnessing such a historical day. He thanked His Excellency, the President of the Republic of the Gambia and Commander-In-Chief of the Gambia Armed Forces, Mr Adama Barrrow and the International partners for their support in the on-going SSR. He observed that the drafters have a mammoth task but he has no doubt in his mind that they would put up a good Defence Policy.
The Honourable Minister of Defence Sheikh Omar Faye concluded by urging the Gambian people to take absolute ownership of the process as Security should be a concern for every citizen.
Source: Ministry of Defence