The Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty, has promised to reform and address the challenges facing the Gambia Police Force.
Minister Fatty made these statements at the opening ceremony of a trainers’ workshop on human rights protection in law enforcement at the Paradise Suites Hotel. The workshop targeted personnel of the Gambia Police Force and organised by Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa.
“I know the police force and other agencies are working under extremely difficult conditions. We will get there. I’m with you… I understand your problems. I know how hard life is for you and how you struggle to make ends meet,” Minister Fatty said.
The new Interior Minister said he understands the problems of logistics and perennial issue of social responsibilities facing the country’s police officers, saying the police needs to be respected.
“Certainly we’re going to reform it. We will review and expand it. We will make the force look attractive where community policing and human rights would be at the centre,” he said, adding the vision is to have the force service driven to serve the people of the country.
He added: “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 yourselves in their shoes”.
Minister Fatty reminded participants that Gambians went to the polls for a future in which their sovereignty and dignity will be upheld. He said the people voted not only to change their lives or government but a system with constitutionality and rule of law in an enabling environment where they can realize their God-given talent.
“I’m tasked with internal security. Human rights are an integral component of security. It is the foundation of good governance. You cannot talk about development if it is not centred on the human individual. And that’s why this training is absolutely essential,” he said.
Minister Fatty pointed out that the training would ensure that the skills and new experiences would be share among all coordinating institutions and agencies under his ministry. He said there is no need for more laws but need effective enforcement of the existing laws, saying their jobs would be easier when they follow the dictates of the constitutions and the directive principles of state policies.