Sudan, UN Coordinates to Combat Spread of Small Arms
Interior Minister Urges Regional Cooperation, Political Will to address Security Challenges
Khartoum – The United Nations announced that it is coordinating with the Sudanese Government and the Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDRC) to combat use of small and light arms in the Sudan, to strengthen institutions at the national level to curb armed violence and reduce demand on arms.
Use of arms disrupts development and spreads chaos, UN resident Coordinator, Ali Al-Zaetri, said, adding that the economic loss caused by the use of these arms stands at $163 billion besides the loss of thousands of lives every year and thousands others are wounded due to use of weapons in wars and tribal conflicts. He stressed the importance of concerted efforts to halt use and spread of arms in the countries of the region, indicating that all the countries participating in the conference have huge development potentialities and they only need the war to stop.
Addressing yesterday the regional conference on light and small arms organized by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior and the DDRC in which five countries are taking part, he said “in the UN programme we coordinate with the Ministry of Interior and the DDRC Commission to combat use of small and light arms and we also work to strengthen national institutions to minimize violence and reduce demand on weapons”, and underlined the need to use local means to collect arms with a focus on raising awareness of local communities.
Minister of Interior, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, addressing the conference which is attended by Sudan, Libya, Chad, CAR and DRC, stressed the importance of continued efforts to combat the phenomenon of spread of small and light arms in the countries of the region which will help in combating narcotics trafficking, cross border crime and human trafficking.
He said the idea of the conference emerged from a growing need of the countries to take necessary steps to control unlawful arms to avert their negative impact on peace and security in the region.
He said the conference aims at establishing measures among the countries of the region to curb use and spread of arms, adding he is confident that the conference would come up with fruitful results that would contribute towards combating cross border crimes, narcotics trafficking, infiltration and human trafficking.
Representative of the German Government, Wolf Kang, welcomed the efforts exerted by the Sudanese Government to organize this conference to achieve peace and security in the region, affirming the readiness of his country to support the implementation of the recommendations of the conference. He stressed the importance of voluntary collection of arms, citing Sudan experience in this regard.
Dr. Sulaf Al-Din Mohamed Saleh, DDR Commissioner, for his end said the conference comes in confirmation of Sudan’s commitment to the arms collection programme which will contribute towards stability and development in the region, Africa and the world.
He said the DDRC programmes target communities and combatants to raise their awareness about the risk of use of weapons in conflicts adding that the programme suits Sudan and the countries with similar conditions. He said Sudan is ready to share its experience in this regard with neighboring countries. He called on all the countries which support armed movements to cease doing so.
“We are committed to implement our programmes at the local and regional level and ready to cooperate with all countries of the region to curb use of weapons” he said.
Head of the Higher Committee for the conference, Maj. Gen. Babikir Abu Samra, said that use of arms flared conflicts, aggravated internal political hospitalities, increased terrorist activities and forced populations to relocate to safe and urban areas.
He said experience proved that unilateral work is fruitless and joint work is needed to stamp out the phenomenon.
He said the conference aims at tackling the issue of spread of small and light arms, enhancing development and peace and establishing a joint mechanism to follow up on the implementation of programmes concerning control of arms at the borders of the countries participating in the conference.
By Mohamed Babikir, 22/05/2012