Held at Metzy hotel, the forum attracted stakeholders including development partners such as UNDP among others.
At the opening ceremony, Fanta Samateh-Manneh, deputy permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior acknowledged that the 21st century is faced with realities of security dynamics, which she said, are seriously challenging peace and stability among people and countries.
“In The Gambia, threats of violence amongst other insecurities due to ethnocentric politic, land disputes and their heinous impacts continue to hinder our peace and socio-economic development process.”
She highlighted that building strategic peace infrastructure such as security policies constituting National Security Policy, National Security Strategy, Security Sector Reform Strategy and Institutional Internal Security policies is an optimism towards strengthening the peace, security and social cohesion within the country.
“Importantly, the government of The Gambia through Ministry of Interior is working hard in collaboration with development partners and other stakeholders towards meeting the demands of internal peace and security of the populace.”
These efforts, she went on, culminated to national engagement in Conflicts and Development Research Analysis CDA.
“Consequently, drivers to conflict and violence have been discovered from diverse social settings resulting in the putting up of measures to mitigate these drivers. Thus, training programmes were conducted for traditional and religious leaders, security personnel, women kafoos, ward councilors, youth groups amongst others on early warning and dispute resolution mechanism for peaceful co-existence.”
According to her, virtually, the concept of a peace infrastructure is meant to monitor and foster peace for development.
The peace infrastructure, she added, thus facilities and coordinates social interactions to maintain peace and security by enabling adherence to the rule of law.
“The government recognition of the setting up of this Technical Working Group is a clear manifestation of its commitment to ensuring the maintenance of peace, harmony and security for socio-economic development of the country.”
DPS Samateh-Manneh expressed gratitude on behalf of the Ministry of Interior to all institutions, development partners, civil society organizations as well as youths for their support toward ensuring that peace efforts are properly coordinated and institutionalized.