Malawi police destroy more than 1,000 illegal firearms to boost safety

Flag Of Malawi
Flag Of Malawi

Malawi Police Service, in collaboration with its partners, has destroyed a total of 1,073 firearms and muzzleloaders that were illegally owned and confiscated in the process of law enforcement.

The destruction of the firearms took place in public Friday at the Malawi Police Service’s headquarters in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, Friday.
According to the Malawi Police, the event showcased the unwavering commitment of the law enforcement agency toward ensuring a secure and safe environment for all citizens, as well as safeguarding the lives of protected animals.

“This occasion reminds us of the threat that firearms pose to our communities and wildlife and, as Malawi Police Service, we are proud to join forces with our partners to create a safe and secure Malawi for all citizens of this country,” said Malawi Police Deputy Inspector General Happy Mkandawire.

“The disposal of these firearms marks a substantial period since the last batch of firearms seized from criminal syndicates was eliminated. This measure is crucial to prevent the reentry of firearms into the criminal supply chain and to eliminate potential threats to public safety and wildlife preservation.”

The majority of the firearms destroyed were confiscated from poachers or found abandoned in national parks and game reserves, underscoring the link between firearm possession and wildlife crimes.

“These firearms were used for illegal poaching of protected species for trophies, ivory, and meat. By burning these firearms today, the threat of poaching has been significantly reduced in our national parks and games, safeguarding our precious wildlife for tourism and future generations while enhancing the natural beauty of our environment,” said the police deputy chief.

Despite relatively low levels of gun violence, the police in Malawi remain vigilant and enforce strict firearms registration and management practices to combat firearms-related crimes.

United Nations Programs Officer for the Conventional Arms Branch Tak Mashiko emphasized the critical impact of small arms and light weapons on sustainable development.

“These lethal weapons often traverse across countries and conflicts, claiming lives. Thus, it is imperative to collect illicit, unregistered, seized, and surrendered weapons in each country and safely destroy them to break the cycle of such arms.”

International Firearms Destruction Day is commemorated annually, with UN member states given the flexibility to choose any day in July for the observance.

Malawi selected July 28 as the day to mark the occasion, reflecting their concern about the devastating impact of firearms within their region. The day’s significance lies in raising awareness about the global arms trade and the need for collective efforts to promote peace and security worldwide.

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