National Security Adviser in The Gambia, Rtd. Col. Ambassador Momodou Badjie, who is leading the delegation, thanked the president for the warm reception and disclosed that they were in the country “on a capacity enhancement tour”.
He said after the December 2016 elections, transition in The Gambia had issues with development and reforms, noting that the security sector was one of those crucial areas. He said one reason for reforms in their security sector was to get a security sector that was free from politics. He disclosed that their country had gone very far with the process and were now drafting and developing their National Security Strategy Document and Security Sector Reform Strategy.
“We wanted to go somewhere where we could share practical experience and we thought Sierra Leone was the best place to come. Sierra Leone has a success story in security sector reforms. Also, our two countries have shared security, historical and cultural values. The purpose of our visit is to come and share with our colleagues and learn a lot of things because of the similarities between our two countries,” he said.
In his response, President Julius Maada Bio said Sierra Leone and The Gambia have very strong relationship and cultural ties which have kept the two countries together. He said development and security have a very strong link and that development is difficult without security, adding that security would provide the ecosystem for development.
He added that since the end of the war, Sierra Leone’s security sector had gone through reforms and had become the envy of many other nations. He noted that the country had provided support to other nations and was ready to learn from and share experience with other countries.