LANSA frowns on the illegal use of fire arms in the country – Cautions government to arrest and prosecute armed criminals

LANSA Chairman Mr. Michael S. Yowah

The Liberia Action Network on Small Arms (LANSA) attention has been drawn to the continued wave of news and social media reports and arrests on the illegal use of fire arms in the country.

LANSA Chairman Mr. Michael S. Yowah indicated that this situation of none control effort by the government is dangerous and scares away the desire of potential business owners that could derail the implementation of the government’s agenda which amongst other things points to peace, security and development.

The coalition believes that one of the major threats to peace is the lack of control mechanism by a state on arms possession, use and movement.

According to him, LANSA wants the government to take into consideration the progress African states made at the Second Biennial Meeting of States (BMS) on July 2005 in New York, on the implementation of the UNPoA where many issues considered especially important to countries in Africa were included and now stand as the central global agreement on preventing and reducing trafficking and proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The coalition also wants to remind government on the EOWAS the Convention which also stipulates strict controls on the manufacture of SALW and lays down measures to support transparency and exchange of information between Member States which further provisions deal with civilian possession, stockpile security, marking, tracing and brokering.

“LANSA categorically registers its concern over the illegal possession of arms in the country by none state actors to commit crimes that restrict free citizens movement, evidenced by the recent arrest of an individual with military styled weapon (light automatic raffle -LAR) in Gbapolo County” He noted .

Mr. Yowah indicated that while it is important for all well-meaning citizens to commend the past and current governments as well as our partners for the level of security maintained in the country; it is also necessary that our government reflects on the numeral strides been made as a country to securing lasting peace and security.

The coalition applauds the government through its Small Arms Commission on the ongoing registration of single barrels guns in the country, but it urges the government to arrest and prosecute any violator to the Fire Arms and Ammunition Control Act (FACA) that will help deal with the menace.

He pointed out that as a vital tool to ease the Liberian government of international arms transfer of especially conventional weapons, LANSA wants the government to speedily pass in to law the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Act, which has been drafted by the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms through consultations and inputs by concerned national and international security institutions, the Legislature, partners and civil society.

He said that LANSA seeks government’s proactive measure to ensure that the respect for all national and international arms instruments is ahead to.

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About Cholo Brooks 12126 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.