Senegal’s Defense Minister Augustin Tine has called for complete elimination of chemical weapons, an official source has said.
The minister was speaking on Tuesday in Dakar during the opening of a four-day training session for customs officers from West, North and Central Africa.
“The deadly risks posed by the chemical weapons, especially on states in war or by non-state actors, justify the need for prohibition of these weapons and their complete elimination across the world,” he said when he spoke during the opening of the forum on technical aspects of the transfer regime of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The convention which was signed on Jan. 13, 1993, “totally prohibits production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and sets deadline for their destruction,” he said.
At least 190 countries have signed and ratified the convention. However, six UN member states have neither ratified nor adopted the convention, among them three Africa states: Angola, Egypt and South Sudan.
Speaking at the same event, head of programs at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Pankaj Sharma said “although trade in chemical products was still going on in Africa, customs authorities had helped authorities of the concerned countries to control it.”
He said customs play a vital role because they are the only source for collection of information by the states. “But collection of information alone is not enough, we must guarantee the quality of the information
“This is why it is important to regularly give information to African customs officials to ensure tighter control of chemical weapons trade and ensuring that individuals and organizations are prevented from using them,” he concluded. Enditem