News on Small Arms - October 2010

Central Africa: New regional action network on small arms established

We are delighted to announce that the Central African Action Network on Small Arms - (CAANSA) / Réseau d'Action sur les Armes Légères en Afrique Central (RASALAC) was launched on 1 October in Libreville, Gabon.  Eugine Nyuydine Ngalim from Cameroon, the General Secretary of the new network said "The creation of the Central African Action Network on Small Arms is a dream come true after several previous attempts to set up such a network". He emphasised CAANSA's commitment to combat the illicit proliferation of small arms and armed violence in the region.

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Ghana: 1500 firearms destroyed


1500 locally produced firearms have been destroyed in Asuki, Ghana. The National Commission on Small Arms (NatCom) organised the destruction, in collaboration with the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council and UNDP. Baffour Amoa of The West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) attended the event. A local council member said "Local manufacturing of guns has been a source of worry to the government because according to police, over 80 per cent of crimes in the country are committed using locally produced guns". Since 2001, 3,387 illicit small arms have been destroyed by the NatCom.

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20 million signatures for 'Arms Down' Campaign

20 million people from 140 countries have signed a petition calling on all governments to stop the proliferation and misuse of conventional weapons, and reallocate 10% of their military budgets to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Global Youth Network of Religions for Peace initiated the petition, which was handed to H.E. Mr. Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament in a ceremony at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York this week.

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The Religions for Peace at the UN Hearing on MDGs

The Religions for Peace side event of the UN Hearing on MDGs took place on June 15. Mr. Erick Lutambwe presented the Arms Down! Campaign and the proposed UNGA Resolution. As both the UN Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and the UN Hearing on MDGs took place the same week in New York, the audience included experts and practitioners from both fields. The effort to highlight the relationship between disarmament and development in general, and military spending and MDGs in particular, was well appreciated.

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Parliamentary Conference on Small Arms for West Africa

An Inter-Parliamentary Conference for West Africa was held in Monrovia, Liberia from the 1-2 October. The Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Lights Weapons organised the event in collaboration with the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, and the Liberian House of Representatives. 20 parliamentarians from 10 West African countries participated, along with government representatives, experts and representatives from civil society.

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SALW control through radio broadcasting in Africa

On 13 September, Peter J. Croll of Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), IANSA members in Germany, gave a presentation at the General Assembly of the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA) in Luanda, Angola. He was invited to speak on "SALW control through radio broadcasting in Africa?" and the role of media in conflict.


Gun Free South Africa campaign awarded

Gun Free South Africa has been aarded the prestigious Loerie Awards for its "Umshini Wakho" campaign, part of a project exploring how to use mass media in the work to reduce gun violence. An inspiring video is available on the IANSA Youtuve channel. 

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Sudan Facts and Figures

 The Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) of the Small Arms Survey has posted updates on their 'Sudan Facts and Figures' web resource including new pages on Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration in Sudan and its implementation.

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Women, Peace and Security

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has released the September 2010 Monthly Action Points (MAP) on Women, Peace and Security for the UN Security Council. This month the MAP provides recommendations on country situations such as Afghanistan, DRC, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

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Southern Sudan: Government arms militias for 'self-defence'

The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) is arming a vigilante group in response to attacks from Lord's Resistance Army rebels. Camlus Omogo of IKV Pax Christi said this "contradicts the call by the GoSS for civilian disarmament". Richard Mugisha, Executive Director of the Eastern Africa Action Network on Small Arms (EAANSA) said "this is in total disregard of the Nairobi Protocol, the UN Programme of Action on small arms, and international law". He continued, "EAANSA calls upon the GoSS to adhere to the principals of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. We urge them to seek support from the international community to curb violence and arms trafficking in the region using peaceful means".

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Gabon signs UN Firearms Protocol

On 22 September Gabon signed the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) applauded the accession and said "Trafficking in firearms in Central Africa is fuelling conflict . and increases the risk of violence against women and the recruitment of child soldiers". He added "Without peace and security, development cannot take root and grow. This makes halting illicit trade in firearms all the more urgent".


Cote d'Ivoire campaign for weapons-free election

The Cote d'Ivoire section of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA-CI), in collaboration with the National Commission to Combat the Proliferation and Illicit Circulation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, has launched a campaign for elections free from armed violence. The campaign, with the slogan 'My weapon is my vote' will run until the election, scheduled for 31 October.

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2010 SIPRI Yearbook summary is now available

 The 2010 SIPRI Yearbook summary is now available in Swedish, Catalan and Dutch.


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