Our Safety and Security is paramount

Monday, April 24, 2017

The shooting incident that took place at former president Yahya Jammeh’s home village of Kanilai on Thursday is a cause for concern, although our Interior Minister has said the incident had been blown out of proportion.

By and large, there is very serious need for the security of the state to be managed well by the new government, as the country is presently home to a mixture of forces from within and outside.

It is true that the ECOMIG forces are in the country to ensure safety and security of the country hence have certain functions including protecting Kanilai and its surrounding areas. 

However the Gambia Armed Forces are also a recognised force with a mandate to protect areas under their legal control. It is therefore unfortunate that such an incident did occur and some injuries inflicted.

Such a happening should be seriously guarded against to avoid plunging our nation into a confrontation that might cause dire consequences.

“Security depends not so much upon how much you have, as upon how much you can do without,” says Joseph Wood Krutch.

As the minister stated, the ECOMIG forces are in The Gambia to help our nation maintain peace and stability and it is essential that they get full cooperation from their Gambian counterparts, as well as from the people, so that maximum security is maintained at all times.

We hope and pray that such a skirmish does not repeat itself, as it will always send a bad signal about the safety and security of the nation.

Since we are looking forward to attracting more investors into our country, we therefore need to ensure there is absolute peace and tranquility in the society to realise more lucrative investments into the country.

Meanwhile, we would like to appreciate the good words and gestures of our interior minister in clearing the air about the disturbing shooting incident.

His remarks as regards our relations with our sister republic of Senegal, which has the bulk of the ECOMIG troops on our soil, sound in the right tone: “There is no difference or confrontation between the forces,” he said. “It was delayed communications which caused the misunderstanding at the access point. The Gambian side was supposed to be communicated to but they got the information later before the Senegalese movement. But now there is harmony. We are brothers and sisters with Senegal and Senegalese forces are performing an important duty on our soil. We welcome them and I want all Gambians to embrace them. They are not an occupying force, they are not here to threaten our peace, they are not here to oppress, and they are not here to impede on the rights of any Gambian citizen.”

He also commended the Gambian forces for acting professionally during the incident by exercising maximum restraint.

These are fine words from the interior minister and we hope that spirit between our two nations is maintained.

"At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security."

Jodi Rell