NDALATANDO. – Angola has collected and destroyed more than 500,000 firearms of various calibres illegally owned by the public, a local official said on Tuesday. Many of these weapons have been used by criminals causing fatalities and material damages all over the country, said Paulo Gaspar de Almeida, coordinator of the National Technical Sub-commission of the National Commission of the Disarmament of the Civil Population (CNDPC). The firearms have been gathered since 2008.
At an event celebrating the national week of disarmament in the town of Ndalatando in Angola’s northern province of Cuanza Norte, he called on the population to voluntarily surrender guns and denounced those who possess them illegally. Almeida also urged the defense organs in the country to reinforce the system of control and inspection and prevent the weapons from falling into criminal hands.
He also defended heavy fines on those who are found in possession of firearms illegally. For nearly three decades before 2002, Angola was in a state of civil war, with many former combatants still possessing their weapons. The Angolan government created the CNDPC in 2008 to collect illegal weapons from the public. - Xinhua