Taking Lead in Fire Arms Control – RESCA


23 APRIL 2013

The Executive Secretary of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) Dr. Francis K Sang has said that Rwanda has done a great job in controlling the distribution of fire arms despite the fact that other sub- region have failed to honor their obligations.

The Nairobi Protocol requires RECSA member states to adopt measures to prevent, control and reduce SALW within the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and bordering states.


Photo: The country has been applauded for being among the first within the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and bordering states to control and prevent fire arms distribution (UN/ Sylvain Liechti. File photo).

Rwanda is among the few countries that have implemented the protocol and other declarations, which have seen laws relating to arms adopted, conducting of disarmament operations as well as destruction of illicit arms.

Statistics in Rwanda indicate that the country has since September 1994 to November 2011 been able to destroy 53.357 tons of ammunitions, which had been distributed and used mostly during the genocide and expired guns.

To the contrary, war prone countries like Somalia, Southern Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Horn of Africa are still faced with uncontrolled increase of small arms and light weapons, which have been the main cause of insecurity.

Though these countries do not manufacture weapons, most of the weapons in these countries are believed to be supplied to the African countries from Europe, Asia and America

During a two-day regional security meeting, that is underway in Kigali since April 22, Dr. Sang said that member states should honor their obligations and enhance the capacity for the body to effectively run its activities so as to control and manage arms in the region.

Rwanda’s Minister of Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana pledged his country’s support to further implement the Nairobi protocol on Small Arms, of which Rwanda is a signatory.

RECSA was established in June 2005 to coordinate actions against proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the Great Lakes region and Horn of Africa. It operates in fifteen African countries which are; Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and the host, Rwanda.

Apparently Rwanda is currently chairing the body’s top position (held by Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana) and it is expected to be handed over to Tanzania next year. Similarly the current executive secretary position (occupied by Dr Francis K.Sang) is also expected to be switched to a Rwandan national next year.


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