Weekly Spotlight

Shining a spotlight on some of the key security stories from across the Commonwealth.



1. Hope of stability as Adama Barrow wins Gambian presidential election.

Following political uncertainty in Gambia since longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh - who refused to accept his defeat in the 2016 - went into exile, Adama Barrow has been declared the winner of this year’s presidential election, having obtained 53% of the vote. The poll was deemed free and fair by independent observers. Speaking after the election on Saturday, Barrow, whose Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) party was set up in 2017 largely to address human rights violations committed by his predecessor, stated ‘there will be justice and reconciliation, reparation - it will all happen but we have to be patient’. ‘I call on all Gambians, irrespective of your political divide, to… come together as one people to work towards the development of our country’.

President of Gambia Adama Barrow. (Image: Chatham House, https://www.flickr.com/photos/chathamhouse/39774084330/ )

Some citizens took to the streets in protest as two opposition candidates issued a joint declaration rejecting the election results, though the protests have since been dispersed and Essa Mybe Faal, who issued the declaration alongside Ousainou Darboe, has now acceded to Barrow’s victory. Since Saturday, Barrow has revealed plans to draft a new constitution in which presidential term limits and alterations to the polling process would be included.


The vote should be seen as a vindication of the democratic process in Gambia as well as signs that the country's security and political institutions are healthy and robust.


2. India’s Chief of Defence Staff among at least 13 killed in military helicopter crash.

3. Leaders of Brunei and UK recognise strong relationship based on defence cooperation.

4. The New Zealand Defence Force issues China threat warning in new Defence Assessment.