20th June 2024

The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons on Thursday destroyed a total of 1,194 confiscated small arms in the Western and Western North Regions, as part of efforts to create awareness on the dangers of illicit arms.

Out of the figure 1,068 are foreign-made weapons, including single and double-barrel riffles which represented 89.5 percent, Pump Action seized formed 3.9 percent, with 0.7percent of G3 riffles, AK 47 riffles, representing 0.3 percent, Mark-4 riffle recording 0.2 percent, foreign pistols, 0.2 percent, and 0.1 percent SMG riffle.

Mr Jones Applerh, Executive Secretary of the Commission said from 2005 to 2018 the Commission in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, Armed Forces, and other security agencies had seized and destroyed 10,052 illicit small arms.

According to him, in 2016 the commission destroyed over 1.319 and in 2018 a total of 2,700 illicit weapons were destroyed.

Mr Applerh said the exercise was intended to prevent small arms from entering the country and that the management and control of ammunition should be given much attention by the relevant state institutions in addition to the right policy interventions.

He commended the hard work of the security personnel at the nation’s borders in arresting criminals and preventing weapons smugglers from smuggling their weapons into the country.

The Executive Secretary said the government was providing scanners, CCTV cameras in Accra, patrol vehicles among others to enhance the operation of the various security agencies and ensure public safety and security of all persons living in the country.

Mr Applerh however said the government’s efforts alone would not be enough if the citizen failed to play their part by volunteering information to the security agencies and called on all Civil Society Organizations, traditional leaders, the media, and the public to rally behind the Commission’s effort in fighting arms proliferation in the country.

“I call on all Ghanaians to uphold our unique values of brotherliness, patriotism, and peaceful co-existence as we approach election 2020.”

Reverend Professor Paul Frimpong Manso, Board Chairman of the Commission, pointed out that weapons destruction exercises are used to draw the attention of the public to the scourge of illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

“The proliferation of small arms and light weapons inflict a lot of needless human deaths and suffering especially among women and children and also derails development and destabilizes societies”.

Prof. Manso pointed out that small arms and light weapons are the tools that sustain and prolong conflicts, adding that they are used to committing high-level armed violence and aid terrorists, armed groups among others.

“The proliferation of small arms and light weapons and easy accessibility by civilians pose a major security threat to our democracy and socio-economic development.

Source: www.gna.org.gh

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