JUNE 7, 2010: War On Small Arms Challenging - EAC

War On Small Arms Challenging - EAC
SOURCE: The New Times
By Stephen Rwembeho
An official from the of the East African Community (EAC), said over the weekend that the war on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), in the region, faces a number of challenges because of the countries' inability to properly control their air space and existence of porous borders.

Didacus B. Kaguta, a Peace and Security Officer, was addressing security officials drawn from the districts of Gatsibo and Kayonza, at a workshop held in Mukarange sector.

The meeting was meant to sensitize participants on the importance of implementing the UN Programme of Action on SALW.

"We can only tell that a plane is entering our air space, but we can't tell whether it's registered or not. We can't detect if it is carrying illicit arms or drugs," he said.

"Countries like the Somalia, Chad and DRC frustrate our efforts to combat SALW. Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony is a product of such situation."

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Vianney Nshimiyimana said that the existing challenges will have to be addressed, if war on SALW is to be sustainable.

The official, however, said that EAC member states have stepped up the campaign to get rid of illegal possession of small arms and light weapons.

"In some cases arms are air dropped in rebel areas in exchange of minerals and drugs," he said. "This is the main challenge."