Interior minister promises to reform Gambia Police Force

By Kebba Jeffang

Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty on Wednesday at a training of trainers’ workshop on human rights protection promised to address the facilities, infrastructure and other challenges facing the Gambia Police Force.

The event that took place at Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi was organized by the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa ((IHRDA) meant for law enforcers to inculcate human rights protection mechanisms when carrying their functions.

He said: “I know the police force and other agencies are working under extremely difficult conditions. The challenges are humongous in terms of facilities, infrastructure, and capacity. We will get there. I am with you… I understand your problems. I know how hard life is for you and how you struggle to make ends meet. I understand your problems of logistics, and I understand even your perennial issue of social responsibility”.

Minister Fatty continued “the police force need to be respected, and certainly we’re going to reform it. We will review and expand. And we will make the force look attractive where community policing of which human rights is at the centre.”

Fatty told the trainee police officers that the vision is to have the force service driven as they must serve the people of this country.

And he said: “I want the trainers who are here today to understand that you’re dealing with your own people. When we say we must respect the right of a subject not to be detained beyond the constitutional period, put yourself in their own shoe.”

Fatty added that on December 1, 2016, Gambians voted for a future in which their sovereignty and dignity will be upheld adding that “they voted not only to change their life or government but a system. They replaced it with something that they desire. They want their sovereignty and dignity to be upheld. They want constitutionality and rule of law. They want an enabling environment where they can realise their God-given talent.”

He said he is tasked with internal security and human rights is an integral component of security. He said human rights is the foundation of good governance adding that one cannot talk about development if it is not centered on the individual. He said for these reasons, such training is absolutely essential because it will ensure that the skills and new experiences the participants  will have from it can be shared among all coordinating institutions and agencies under his ministry.

“Our constitution is one of the best. We have entrenched clauses that protect the fundamental rights and liberties of the individual. We don’t need more laws. What we need is the effective enforcement of the existing laws. And if we go by the dictates of the constitution and the directive principles of state policies, I think we will find our job easier.”