Issued: Tuesday 27 March 2018
Gambia’s spy chief has warned that the use of social media in the country could affect policy thinking, cause social unease and affect security arrangements in 2018.
In a statement at the inauguration of the new administrative building and a mosque at the Headquarters of the State Intelligence Services, Director General Ousman Sowe noted that the national security challenges for the country in 2018 would not be much different from 2017, except for certain pertinent issues.
“There are no foreseen critical and eminent threat to the general wellbeing of both the State and people of this country. That said, we think 2018, will be stretched and stressed by differing opinions that may cause social unease and affect security,” Mr. Sowe warned.
He added that the years will witness more traffic jams and more pressure on our road infrastructure, more imports “but the catch will be indiscriminate items that could affect our environment.”
He added: “We will witness more economic activities and projects as well as investments. We of the Intelligence and Security Community can caution that all that glitter is not gold hence the need to identify the genuine from the fake investors,” he added, noting that Gambia’s pace of development could be affected by lethargy, slowness and flat-footedness.
With some countries using intelligence as an instrument in pursuit of wars and military supremacy, others in dominance in trade and wealth creation for their peoples; in The Gambia after historic December 1st change of government, demands have been made for fundamental changes in the nature intelligence to be used as an instrument of government.
“This is because whereas previously the emphasis was on the security of the state and the survival of the regime, now there is a strong emphasis on human security and human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the constitution,” Mr. Sowe said, noting that in respect of this, SIS’ objectives are to serve, not as oppressors of the people but protectors of their security and well-being, governed by policies that are ethical, honourable and in accordance with fundamental human rights and freedoms as well as international best practices.
“Whilst our operational techniques of covert collection of information are secret, the rest of our intelligence activities will be open and participatory so as to earn the confidence and full support of the public. That might not have been the case before, but in any democracy, it is essential that intelligence services behave in an ethical and lawful manner…,” he stated.
The mosque was inaugurated by President Adama Barrow while the administrative building by VP Jallow-Tambajang.