Security Plan for OIC Summit Unveiled

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By Sariba Manneh

As the country prepares to hold the 15th OIC Islamic Summit between 4 and 5 May 2024, the OIC’s Local Organising Committee on security recently unveiled the national security plan for an orderly and peaceful summit, at a gathering at the SDKJ International Conference Centre.

The unveiling of the security plan brought together leading security chiefs including the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector General of Police and the National Security Adviser among others, to discuss what was unveiled.

Abubacarr Jeng, the National Security Adviser, underscored the importance of the gathering, saying it was to interface with the local security sub-committee to review the work they had started since 2018, as it relates to the administration and security planning of the upcoming OIC summit in the country.

He said in the Gambia, two bodies are taking care of the national security of the country including the National Security Council headed by President Adama Barrow. He further said the National Security Council comprises the security management team, which includes all service chiefs of the eight security services that operate in the country.

“I want to reiterate that plans are in place and we have gone far in terms of administration and planning arrangements for the OIC,” he pronounced, saying: “I can stand here and authoritatively say that we will deliver a successful OIC summit.”

Alluding to providing sound security for the summit, Mr. Jeng added that the reputation of President Barrow is important and a concern for the international world.

Yankuba Dibba, CEO of the Gambia OIC Secretariat, stated that the Gambia stands ready to host the OIC summit, stressing that the dates are confirmed and would not be changed.

“The OIC has worked hard over the past six years and our programs were divided into two, which involve a hard and soft part,” he said. “Most people are aware of the hard part, which is infrastructural development, but no matter the roads we build and the buildings and hotels we have, the delegates will only come when they perceive the Gambia as safe,” he said.

He said security is the most important aspect of such a gathering, adding that the OIC being the second largest gathering of world leaders apart from the UN General Assembly, quality needs to be provided with the best security.

Dibba added that in their briefing with some leaders, one of the regional leaders told them to ensure that the country is safe, to which he assured Gambia’s top security chiefs close collaboration.

“We entrust our confidence and hope in your hands (security chiefs) and we will accompany you along the journey and give you all the necessary support. The executive is firmly behind your plans and they are willing to support you to make the country secure – before, during and after the conference,”Jeng said.

Tamsir Jassey, the chairperson of the Security sub-Committee of the Local Organising Committee, said they had envisioned to engage security stakeholders at a certain level of the plan, to map out security plans.He added that the committee does not have any resources but all of the work they intend to do is to utilise resources from all the security apparatuses in their services.

“As it is an internal operational matter, it is a police led-up operation. However, other security services will come as a supporting agencies. The work of the sub-committee has been going on since 2018, in preparation for the summit,” he said.