#National News

NYC launches youth peace security situation room and online radio

Nov 26, 2021, 11:02 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

The National Youth Council (NYC) on Tuesday launched its Youth Peace Security Situation Room and Online Radio at its office in Kanifing.

The platform supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through the Peace Building Fundwillensure all security alerts are monitored across the country. It will be managed by young people (RegionalMonitors) to ensure timely and adequate information on security alertsand challenges are reported and acted upon.

The situation room and online radio will serve as a one stop informationcenter for security alerts across the country as it will cover both situation and incident reports of peace and security issues related to youngpeople through an online dash board.

The reports gathered through the platform will help NYC and itsdevelopment partners to document and prepare policy briefs and advisoryservices on youth issues relating to peace and security situation and earlywarning crisis response in real time manner.

Furthermore, the online radio will also create the opportunity for youngpeople within the platforms to share ideas and best practices, promotepeace, stability and social cohesion as well as serve asmedium for the plight of the entire youth community across the country.

The youth radio will also serve as a strong tool in amplifying the voices of young people in maintaining peace, social cohesion, positive messaging and building resilienceagainst violence including hate speech.

The early warning crisis center through a network of monitors across the countrywill identify potential conflict triggers, disinformation and hate speech within hotspot areas and serve as an early warning mitigation mechanism.

The development of a state-of-the-art software on early-warning indicators willfacilitate efficient response to conflict and crisis situations in a timely manner in order to enable the development of appropriate response strategies for theprevention of potential conflicts.

Kunle Adeniyi, UNFPA Country Representative described the setting up of the youth-led platform as timely, especially as we approach the electoralperiod.

He added that the youthful population of The Gambia which is at 60% makes young peoplecritical stakeholders and remain the most important demographic of the country interms of their numbers and ability to author and influence the transition instabilising or destabilising ways.

He stated that despite theirlimited representation and inclusion, young people have been agentsof change in The Gambia.

“Sustaining peace is a shared task and responsibility which needs deliberate,consistent and concerted efforts from all parties and actors at all times. Thishowever, cannot take place if duty bearers and right-holders do not create safespaces for social engagement,” he added.

He noted that a participatory, inclusive, national-ownership-driven approach is required in thepursuit of a more inclusive and integrated approach to sustaining peace andaddressing the root causes of conflict, debunking hate speech, misinformation anddisinformation especially through the inclusion and participation of young people and marginalised groups in all terms of the governance and decision makingprocesses.

Musa Mbye, Deputy Permanent Secretary Technical, Ministry of Youth and Sports in deputising for his minister said peace, security and stability are the foundation of any democracy anddevelopment in a society. He added that the launch of the platform could not have come at any other time other than now as we havesecurity challenges within our communities.

Mr Mbye expressed Government commitment to the development of young people, adding that it recognises the crucial role young people can play in maintenance of peace and stability. DPS Mbye also thanked UNFPA forthe support.