The director general of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), Ousman Sowe, who was on a countrywide tour as part of the ongoing efforts for state security, coupled with continuous security assessment of the country has ended his tour with meetings at the State Guard and The Gambia Immigration Department among other places in Banjul.
The tour was meant to assess and consolidate the SIS National Security Belt Initiative (NSBI). During his nationwide tour, the SIS boss held various meetings with regional governors, religious leaders, district chiefs, regional security heads, students and a cross section of the communities with the view to discussing with them the importance of peace and stability.
The SIS boss also held talks with Momodou Badjie National Security Adviser at State House in Banjul and a meeting at McCarthy Square with the mayor and councilors of BCC, Alhagie O. B Conateh and the Committee of Banjul Muslim Elders represented by its chairman, Alhagie Alieu Mboge.
During discussions with Col. Jawneh, The State Guard Commander commended the men and women of the unit ECOMIG, charged with the protection and security of the president and presidency for their dedication and professionalism and encouraged them to keep up the security level.
Speaking at the Office of National Security (ONS), DG Sowe expressed the SIS’s unflinching support for the Security Sector Reforms (SSR) a process spearheaded by the national security adviser. He reaffirmed his commitment to reform and repositioning the SIS to commiserate with the desired SSR objective by ensuring that the operations of the security services are in line with democratic best practices.
At the GID, Sowe congratulated DG Touray on his appointment as the GID boss; while expressing his desire and willingness to work with him in the furtherance of national security as the two services have mutually complementary roles. He said that the ongoing SSR process upon its completion will provide a comprehensive national security policy document that will undoubtedly make security management a much simpler task.
The State Guard commander, national security adviser and DG Touray of the GID all expressed appreciation for the visit of DG Sowe, describing it as unprecedented and a significant indicator in the much improved cordial inter-services relations in the country.
Mr. Sowe enjoined them to take a special part in the peace and stability that exists in the country on which hinges all other aspirations including national prosperity, meaningful and sustainable development. He said that the well attended meeting was a testament to the reforms undertaken at the SIS on its ‘No More Excesses’ stance that ensures the service operates purely within its mandate.
“Gone are the days of unlawful harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention with impunity. People are free to get on with their activities as long it is within the law and doesn’t threaten national security,” he assured.
He, however, advised Gambians against subjecting the country’s healing process to any form of trepidation that could reverse the hard earned gains.
Speaking earlier, the mayor of Banjul, Rohey Malick Lowe thanked DG Sowe for his initiative to involve local communities in security management and ownership. This according to her, was a fundamental departure from the dreaded and immediate predecessor of SIS, NIA. She assured the DG of the Council’s full support and cooperation in that endeavour.
Similar meetings were conducted the previous week at the KMC, ECOMIG and in Kartong as part of the SIS National Security Belt Initiative.