Opposition politician Adama Barrow defeated President Yahya Jammeh in the Gambia’s December 2016 presidential poll. Jammeh, in office since 1994, initially refused to accept the results, triggering a constitutional crisis and military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Negotiations resulted in Jammeh’s peaceful departure to third country exile, and President Barrow was inaugurated The Gambia’s third president in January 2017. Moving quickly to show Gambia’s citizens the benefits of democratic and accountable governance, President Barrow immediately sought the assistance of the United Nations and the international community in support of a reform agenda that included overhauling the country’s institutions, laying a new foundation of respect for the rule of law, addressing past human right abuses, and promoting national reconciliation.
PBF Investments in the Gambia
Total allocation: $3.1 million invested since 2017
Current portfolio: $3.1 million
Security sector reform
In close cooperation with ECOWAS, the UN responded with the rapid disbursement of project aid via the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), and the deployment of experts from UNDP, DPA and OHCHR to support reforms. The PBF invested USD $1.2 million in transitional justice, providing expertise, primarily from OHCHR and UNDP with guidance from the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, to Government to guide public consultations intended to inform a national strategy to deliver justice and promote healing and reconciliation.
PBF and donor support for Security Sector Reform (SSR) can help to reform security sector institutions and increase public confidence in national security forces. Through a $1.4 million PBF investment, an international Senior SSR Advisor supports the Government, working in close cooperation with European Union, ECOWAS, UN and the World Bank, to conduct a comprehensive security sector assessment exercise. With this funding, the Government will also receive support to establish the Office of National Security with full one-year funding for a counterpart National Security Advisor.