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Defence Minister: I want Gambia to remain peaceful

Oct 30, 2019, 1:07 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Defence  Minister, Sheikh Omar Faye has underscored the significance of peace, maintaining thatimplementing the Security Sector Reform (SSR) and ensuring that Gambia remains peacefulare among some of his top priorities.

He was speaking to journalists Tuesday morning at the Ferry Terminal in Banjul as he commenced a nationwide tour to military installations and meeting local authorities in the country. He is on the tour with the Chief of Defence Staff of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) Lieutenant General Masanneh N.Kinteh.

“My priorities are to ensure that The Gambia becomes one of the safest and best places in the world. That’s what the President wants and that’s what we also want. We want Gambia to be peaceful so that there can be development,” Mr Faye said.

“You can have all the gold, the diamond and all the petrol but if you don’t have peace, your country will not be stable. So, the President wants all Gambians to be at peace and that’s what we are all doing. It’s been very difficult for some couple of decades, thus we want to repair and look for avenues for redress and start moving forward.”

According to him, ECOMIG Forces are in the country to help in the maintenance of peace just like the way Gambian security personnel are doing in Darfur, Liberia, Sudan and other parts of the world.

He said they are looking at the territorial integrity of the country and to ensure that they consolidate on the gains and make Gambians informed that they have to be peaceful and they have to watch their backs and protect their country.

Defence Minister Faye said security starts from everywhere, saying it is every Gambian’s duty to report cases that are detrimental to the country to law enforcement officers.

“Our security sector policies are in place so we are putting up lot of other strategies and we also have cabinet support and the steering committee and the entire sister services.”

He said the fourth estate; the media should play a crucial role towards the maintenance of peace and stability in the country. “If you say it’s good, the country will look at it as good and if you misinform, it’s not good for the country. Let’s work together as family and sensitise the public so that Gambians will understand what is going on,” he stated.

Lieutenant General Masanneh N. Kinteh, Chief of Defence Staff said the tourwillprovide the opportunity to interact with personnel and get first-hand information on some of the issues affecting them.

“We would be able to communicate to our personnel to be able to assess their living and working conditions and most importantly to be able to have the forum where we can discuss frankly and roll out the new policies and guidelines of the GAF.”

He said they would also engage regional administrators and the civilian population because security is a collective responsibility.