Orbits :SALW Conference a Right Step
Last week Khartoum hosted the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) conference for Sudan and its western neighbouring states including Central African Republic, the Republic of Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Libya.
The conference aimed at strengthening cooperation and coordination efforts in order to control the spread, flow, misuse and illegal circulation of small arms and light weapons within and across the borders, and on the fundamental basis or conventions and treaties, protocols, regional and international instruments, including the UN Program of Action and Prevention and other related agreements.
The conference reviewed and deliberated several papers on the issue; but what attracted my attention and concern is the statistical information in one of the papers presented which pointed that 300 thousand people die annually with the small arms and light weapons, and that most of the victims are civilians.
This means that 1000 persons die everyday with the small arms and light weapons.
Another paper pointed out that more than two million pieces of unlicenced weapons are spread in the bordering areas of Sudan.
Such widespread of unlicensed small and light weapons represents a real threat to the security in those areas.
It is good that the concerned countries met to discuss such dangerous phenomena and work out a plan to curb it to avoid its negative aspects.
The failure in controlling small arms and light weapons will definitely lead to the spread of cross border crimes, human trafficking, drugs, and smuggling besides terrorism and other criminal activities.
This will in turn lead to insecurity instability, hence stopping any development projects.
It is high time to take serious measures on the ground to combat or at least minimize the phenomena.
The recommendations of the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Conference should be adopted by the concerned authorities in the member states.
The civil society organizations have their crucial role in raising awareness and in working as early warning alarms for the governments especially in areas of conflict.
What we need is presenting the phenomena in full transparency and avail the chance for any institution which could participate in controlling the small arms and light weapons (SALW).
By Muawad Mustafa Rashid, 29/05/2012