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Draft Convention On Small Arms

2005-10-10 14:29:45
This article has been read 843 times.

Afi Yakubu
A Draft convention on small arms and light weapons prepared by a coalition of civil society groups in West Africa has been presented to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The draft convention was prepared by a team of experts and it was discussed and adopted by civil society groups at a forum in Mali,Bamako,in March this year.It was supported by Oxfam — Great Britain and Oxfam — America.

The Chairman of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANASA),Baffour Dokyi Amoa,presented the draft convention to Major-General Charles Okae(retd),the Director of Defence and Security at ECOWAS,who received it on behalf of Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas,the Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria.

Baffour Dokyi Amoa,who was accompanied by Ms Afi Yakubu, Secretary of WAANSA,said the document respected the tenets of the ECOWAS Moratorium on the importation, evacuation and manufacture of light weapons.

He said the legally-binding instrument would help regulate the use of small arms and light weapons that had already caused damage and continued to pose potential threats to the stability of countries in the sub-region and the world at large.

On his part,Major-General Okae said the delivery of the document underscored the support for and awareness of the programmes of the sub-regional body.

The most significant features of the draft convention are the attention it draws to gender perspective,local manufacture of small arms and the affirmation of the ECOWAS Moratorium which provides critical blocks for the convention.

Baffour Dokyi Amoa called on the people of the sub-region to fight against the proliferation of small arms in West Africa.

In the convention,he proposed that disputes in the sub-region must be resolved through dialogue and not a resort to the use of arms.Present at the presentation was Cyriaque P.Agnekethom of the ECOWAS Secretariat.

source: graphic

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