Diversion of government stockpiles that end up in the hands of criminal groups remains a major source of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. This results in legally owned weapons losing their legal status along the weapon’s lifecycle. Consequently, the impact of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) undermines peace and security as well as sustainable development. Since SALWs are key enablers in sustaining ongoing conflicts or starting new ones as well as abetting terrorism, and organized crimes notably banditry and cross-border crimes, adopting a multi-agency approach is key in the control, management and reduction of proliferation of SALWs. The Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) Secretariat has the sole mandate of coordinating the implementation of the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and the Bordering States. RECSA works with strategic partners in supporting Member States in the implementation of various small arms control interventions and programmes. Weapons and Ammunition Management is one of the interventions that contribute to the safekeeping and management of government stockpiles as a measure to curb diversion. In light of this, RECSA in partnership with the HALO Trust conducted WAM training targeting armoury storekeepers and middle-level managers. The objective of the training courses was to raise awareness of international best practices based on IATGs and MOSAICs in weapons and ammunition management. Participants were drawn from Kenya and Uganda. Those participating from Kenya were deployed from high-risk border counties while those from Uganda were drawn from locations bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The selected locations in Kenya and Uganda have high vulnerability rates to cross-border attacks and proliferation of SALWs owing to porous borders and fragile neighbouring countries. Both the armoury storekeepers and middle-level managers WAM training courses were funded by the US Government grant to RECSA through the HALO Trust partnership. The US Department’s Bureau of Political-Military/WRA has facilitated the effective delivery of WAM interventions such as the provision of containerised modular armouries, strong steel boxes, marking machines and supporting destruction initiatives in selected RECSA Member States.
WAM Training Bolstering Efforts to Safeguard Government Stockpiles
May 2, 2023