A two-day capacity building for Civil Society Organisations that focused on Gambia’s security sector reform process has ended last week at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) office in Bakau.
Organised by West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)-The Gambia and Geneva Center for Democracy Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the training was part of DCAF’s support to CSOs in The Gambia to participate as independent oversight actors in the country’s security sector reform process.
The organisation’s support to Gambia’s security reform process is an eighteen month European Union funded project with the objective of supporting government efforts to launch a deep and inclusive SSR process, and enhancing external oversight by non-state actors.
The capacity building training seeks to foster development of in-depth knowledge and understanding of SRR processes, best practice and methodologies to enhance democratic civilian control over security forces.
The training is informed by the lack of civilian involvement in the security sector reform process and the need for CSOs to meaningfully participate in the process.
European Union representative Lumana Kamashi said the EU considers the security sector reform as one of the key elements of the current democratic transition taking place in The Gambia. “That is the reason why the EU is deeply committed to support this process, politically, technically and financially,” she said.
She added that the project has been mainly focused on the realisation of a Human Resources Assessment of some of the security forces institutions.
Kamashi said the technical assistance to The Gambia government and in particular to the National Security Adviser’s office is another important objective of the project.
Salama Njie, WANEP national coordinator said as a national process, security sector reform aims to strengthen the effectiveness, transparency and integrity of defense and security actors and institutions.
Ms. Njie said the involvement of CSOs in SSR is crucial as it will improve safety, security and basic living conditions of the public which are fundamental objective of SSR. “It is imperative to enable public participation in reform processes.”
She said Civil Society Organization (CSOs) can bring people’s voices into security sector reform, articulating their needs, aspirations and concern.