The Gambia army has warned reporters still travelling to conflict zone along the Gambia’s southern border with Casamance to desist from doing so due to security concerns.

The army was reacting to media reports on the security situations at the border with Senegal where recent clashes erupted between separatist rebels and Senegalese soldiers. 

“The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) observes with great concern, recent upsurge in the context of publications, radio and television programmes on sensitive security matters which have the potential to shake our national security fabrics especially when not accurately and carefully presented. 

“It is important to highlight that national security pillars exist for the common good and for all and sundry.

“Therefore, persons with platforms reporting on security related matters should ensure factual and balance reporting in order to champion the ideals of good and professional journalism and its inherent ethical values that we so cherish. 

“The GAF has time and again clarified salient issues with the required time and effort necessary for highlighting verifiable facts in order to avoid premature narrations and/or conclusions,” the army said.

“Therefore, in a bid to encourage media operations base on freedom of expression while at the same time maintaining peace and tranquillity, the above concerns are henceforth flagged for consideration on reporting security and sensitive issues. 

“Furthermore, the GAF will be more than willing to provide security briefings for the consideration of media persons wanting to travel to the general Foni belt. 

“In a similar vein, for those still traveling across our Southern border with Senegal for reporting on topical security issues, it may be important to indicate that the area is still volatile and therefore considered a high-risk zone. 

“Therefore, those concerned are strongly advised against undertaking such endeavours without receiving prior security briefings from the GAF in regards to the security situation in that general area. 

“This is for purposes of raising their alert level in order to ensure personal safety and security as well as the maintenance of peace and order within the country,” the army added.

“Most importantly however, the media is also advised to be cautious when reporting sensitive conflict issues to avoid derailing efforts aimed at breeding peaceful coexistence in the interest of maintaining National Security and societal cohesion. 

“In the same vein, the media is further advised against anchoring live phone-ins and panel discussion programmes on ongoing security operations, which can impact negatively on national security. 

“Wherein live phone-in programmes and panel discussions are required, it is desirable to extend formal invitations to subject matter specialists/experts for a meaningful and balance interpretation of security related issues. This is in line with established international best practices,” it continued.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please disable your adblocker and support our journalism. Thank you.