Namibia urges Sadc to fight illicit firearms

WINDHOEK. – Namibian Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga said yesterday that law enforcement agencies in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region should work together to combat the illicit trafficking of firearms and weapons.

In a speech read on his behalf during the opening of the 14th regional coordinating committee on small and light weapons in Windhoek, Ndeitunga said agencies should stop competing against each other. The meeting is expected to evaluate the implementation of the Sadc Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials. The protocol outlines objectives, international initiatives, legislative measures, mutual legal assistance and law enforcement on control of firearms and ammunition within the region.

Also, the meeting is expected to discuss the challenges of combating the illicit trade and trafficking of small firearms in the Sadc region. Ndeitunga said agencies could work better together if they exchange information on illicit brokers of firearms, both regionally and internationally.

The Namibian coordinator of the illicit trade of small firearms, light weapons and ammunition, Nghiwanwa Shaama also told the committee that the southern African region has a challenge regarding illegal firearms trade. Apart from old guns that came from past conflicts, there is a new threat of new arms being smuggled into the region largely because of porous borders and poor coordination.

“The illicit trafficking of firearms and weapons has a negative impact on national stability and security, which calls for international and regional instruments,” Shaama said. – Xinhua.

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