By Ndey Sowe
The Minister of the Interior Mr. Siaka Sonko, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Assan Tangara, and the Adviser to the Minister of the Interior Gibril Secka, on Wednesday 8th February 2023, paid a courtesy call on the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to The Gambia, His Excellency Ambassador Liu Jin, at his office in Banjul.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss ways of strengthening the friendly bilateral ties between the two countries, particularlly security.
During the meeting, Minister Sonko thanked Ambassador Liu for receiving him and his team before highlighting the mandate and functions of his Ministry and its line security departments and commissions. He informed that his Ministry collaborates with sub-regional countries and the United Nations Office to combat counterterrorism.
He went on to indicate that the Gambia Police Force; Gambia Immigration Department; Gambia Prison Services; Gambia Fire and Rescue Services and the Drug law Enforcement Agency, need more capacity building on counterterrorism, road traffic accident management, murder case management, cyber-crime management, crime scene management, border patrol and control and other related security areas, as security institutions.
Minister Sonko finally assured of his office’s commitment to address the needs of the line security agencies of the Ministry especially in the area of equipment supply, in order to ensure the provision of effective and efficient security service to the people. He enlists the support and collaboration of the People’s Republic of China through her Embassy in Banjul in this endeavour, while thanking Ambassador Liu Jin on the one hand and the Government and people China, for their continuous support and cooperation with The Gambia.
On his part, Ambassador Liu Jin welcomed the Minister of Interior and his delegation and thanked him for the timely visit. He acknowledged that The Gambia is a peaceful nation and that the two countries enjoy a friendly bilateral cooperation.
He noted that it is part of China’s foreign policy to help other nations and therefore promised to focus on supporting the security sector through capacity building. The Ambassador recalled that sometime around 2018/2019, the People’s Republic of China donated motor bikes to The Gambia Police Force to support them in their daily operations. He suggested that the two countries can learn and share knowledge and experience on security and safety through a study tour to the People’s Republic of China and by participating in conferences and seminars with relevant institutions in his country.