Commission charged to intensify fight against arms proliferation

The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has implored the governing board of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NACSA) to institute robust measures to effectively control the illicit trade, manufacture and flow of small arms and light weapons in the country.

The minister, who was speaking at the inauguration of the board in Accra on Thursday, October 28, said that such a fight was key as the government is committed to ensuring peace and security to propel sustainable development.

As of 2019, the commission indicated that there were about 2.3 million small arms in civilian hands, with 1.1 million unregistered and 1.2 million registered with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

The commission has also observed that while these weapons could be a by-product of insecurity in the subregion, there has been an increase in the use of sophisticated weapons for criminal activities, with over 75% of them being foreign-made weapons.

Against this background, the minister called on the board of NACSA to implement practical measures to curtail the proliferation of arms in the country.

“The government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes that stopping the illegal circulation and proliferation of small arms and light weapons is important to prevent conflict, enhance internal security, prevent violent crimes and promote sustainable development,” he emphasised.

Mr Dery noted that the situation of illicit small arms and light weapons in the country called for heightened and sustainable preventive approaches in combating it.

He added that there was a need to intensify education and raise the capacities of security agencies, especially at entry points of the country.

Having said so, he underscored that the commission’s activities were critical and should complement the activities and operations of the security agencies in sustaining peace and security.

“You need to raise awareness among the populace especially border communities, and be vigilant in gathering information on illicit arms trade, manufacture, and smuggling to enable the Law Enforcement Agencies to act swiftly,” he told the board.

He also urged them to take proactive actions and efforts to deepen the stability and protect society against tensions and conflicts escalating into armed violence by limiting access to and abuse of arms by unauthorised persons.

He congratulated the board members on their appointments and assured them of his support, adding that he was always open to ideas and suggestions on ways to strengthen the country’s gun control.

Additionally, the minister said he would support them to ensure that monitoring systems were effective to deal with the recent emerging trends in organised crime and its associated demands for small arms and light weapons.


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