(JollofNews) – The first phase of the Gambia’s Security Sector Reforms (SSR) has successfully ended on Friday after members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) received recognition award certificates.

The project, which is initiated by the Barrow administration, intends to design and implement an inclusive security reform strategy to enable members of the country’s security forces to accomplish their constitutional mandate and mission in conformity with the rule of law and democratic principles of transparency and accountability.

Speaking at the ceremony, Momodou Badjie, a national security adviser to the president, said they are gathered for a very good cause, which is to say a big thank you to the TWG that has done a tremendous job in ensuring that the first phase of security sector reforms is completed.

The move followed what he described as “a very hard and dedicated 12 weeks towards the common good of our country the Gambia.”

The Gambia is recovering from 22-year of dictatorship that has left the security apparatus politised and tied to the repressive Jammeh regime.

President Adama Barrow has vowed to depolitise the country’s security forces, announcing major reforms befitting the new democratic dispensation.

Mr Badjie said the event is a moment of reflection of the success registered by the team. He then acknowledged the role played by TWG members in formulating the assessment report draft one.

He reiterated the Gambian leader’s commitment to democratic values as he is yearning for a New Gambia that has instruments that respect human rights.

The United Nations resident coordinator and UNDP representative to the Gambia,  Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, indicated that the report of the TWG constitutes the first foundation stone on the road towards building a responsive security sector.

The project to reform the security sector is supported by United Nations and other partners with a view to transforming the Gambia’s security apparatus into an effective, professional.

She expressed hopes that the reform will render the security sector not only accountable, but also affordable to government and the Gambian people.

“It is a good step towards consolidating the democratic process and sustaining the peace the Gambian people fought for. We do hope that we will put in place structures and institutions that would consolidate this peace,” she added.

Speaking on behalf of the secretary general and head of civil service Ebrahima Ceesay, the newly appointed secretary to cabinet, said the security sector needs transformations to achieve sustainable development.

“The actual journey has just begun. You have set the pace, but we are aware that as government we have to decide on sequencing the activities we must implement towards laying the immediate second layers of building blocks in our reform efforts,” he said.

Written by Abdoulie JOHN