Expert urges joint efforts against proliferation of small arms

Small arms
Small arms

Security experts on Monday called for stronger regional cooperation in the fight against the proliferation of small arms.

Badreldin Elamin Abdelgadir, executive secretary of the Regional Center on Small Arms (RECSA), told a forum in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, that governments have enhanced surveillance among common borders to detect smuggling of small arms and light weapons.

“We have also managed to control and address the proliferation of illicit arms through disarmament exercises that seek to reduce number of illegally held weapons,” Abdelgadir said during celebrations marking 22 years since the signing of the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, Horn of Africa and Bordering States.

The RECSA is an intergovernmental organization comprising Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

Abdelgadir said that regional governments have also stepped up efforts of marking firearms in order to enhance accountability in the management of weapons stockpiles.

He noted that the illicit circulation of small arms is both a cause and a manifestation of insecurity and fragility in the region.

Possession of illegal weapons by civilians is driven by prevalence of interstate conflicts and internal civil strife, Abdelgadir said. Enditem

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