Accra, June 3, , GNA -Major-General Obed Acquah, Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), has called for the proper control of small arms and light weapons, in order to prevent them from falling into wrong hands.
He said the inappropriate handling of small arms and light weapons could be cited as one the reasons for the rise in crime across the sub-region.
Maj-Gen Acquah made the cal in Accra on Monday at the opening of a four-day programme on small arms and light weapons.
The programme which has attracted about 30 participants from about 10 ECOWAS countries, is under the theme: “Small Arms and Light Weapons Policy Training on Stockpile Management.”
He noted that effective stockpiling needed well executed national laws and administrative procedures to back their management.
He said the Regional Small Arms and Light Weapons (SAWL) Training Programme was started in 2008 to enable more people, especially security personnel, gain more insight into the effective control of small arms and light weapons.
He intimated that since the inception of the programme, it had trained about 600 personnel from across the sub-region, and expressed his appreciation to the Japanese Government, the ECOWAS Commission, and the UNDP, for their assistance towards the programme.
He recounted that in 2013 the Japanese Embassy allocated two million dollars to the KAIPTC in support of its activities relating to arms control.
Mr Shigero Hamano, Deputy Head of Mission, Japan Embassy, urged ECOWAS countries to take advantage of the KAIPTC, and educate their members on how to curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
He said the fight against the proliferation of weapons was very vital to the development of all countries, since it could impact negatively on the socio-economic development of any country.
Some of the topics to be treated include: “The Legal and Policy Framework of the ECOWAS Convention of Small Arms,” “The African State, Insecurity and Small Arms Control, Contextualizing , Stockpile Management in African security”, “Stockpiles and Communities,” among others.