NAMIBIA’S POLICE CHIEF CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION TO CHECK ILLEGAL TRADE IN FIREARMS

WINDHOEK, Law enforcement agencies should work together to combat the illicit trafficking of firearms and weapons, says the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga.

In a statement read on his behalf during the 14th Regional Co-ordinating Committee meeting on small arms and light weapons (SALW) here Monday, he said law enforcement agencies were competing against each other instead of working together.

He encouraged the exchange of information among law enforcement agencies on illicit brokers of firearms, both regionally and internationally.

Speaking during the opening of the two-day meeting, the national focal point co-ordinator in the Ministry of Safety and Security, Nghiwanwa Shaama, said the illicit trade of small firearms, weapons and ammunition continued to pose challenges for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials.

Shaama said although firearms were recycled from past conflicts, new stocks of firearms were still entering the SADC sub-region as a result of ineffective regional law enforcement. He also attributed this to a lack of effective co-ordination of information-sharing among law enforcement agencies and lack of resources.

The illicit trafficking of firearms and weapons has a negative impact on national stability and security, which calls for international and regional instruments, said Shaama, who added that the meeting would attempt to evaluate the implementation of the SADC Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials.

The meeting will also deliberate on the challenges of combating the illicit trade and trafficking of small firearms in the 15-nation SADC. The objectives, international initiatives, legislative measures, mutual legal assistance and law enforcement on control of firearms and ammunition within the region are outlined in the Protocol on Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK