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South Sudan builds capacity to boost civilian disarmament





Juba, Feb. 20, 2019 (Xinhua/NNN) South Sudan on Wednesday said it would conduct capacity building for security operatives to boost ongoing civilian disarmament and curb proliferation of small arms in the country.

Lt.-Gen. Andrew Nyuon, Head of South Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control, said this in Juba.

Nyuon said that training of law enforcement personnel and strengthening their capacity would be conducted alongside sensitisation and awareness campaign to enhance peaceful disarmament in the country.

“We will want actually to move from state to state, so that we sensitise and make awareness to our people in the country so that disarmament becomes very easy.

“If we don’t disarm the mind-set of our people, then it will be difficult to collect arms in the hands of the people,’’ he said.

Nyuon acknowledged that proliferation of small arms had become a big security threat, especially in the horn of Africa and Great Lakes region.

“In South Sudan, we have been in war for 40 years and in all these wars, when we were in one Sudan, civilians were actually acquiring arms.

“These arms have not been collected so you actually conclude that the whole population of South Sudan is armed.”

He revealed that disarmament efforts had been so far conducted in Pibor, Gogrial, Tonj and Rumbek areas which had in the past experienced civilian killings due to cattle rustling.

Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA), is supporting South Sudan to achieve capacity in disarmament and controlling small arms proliferation across its borders.

Brig.-Gen. Christo Fataki, Head of RECSA delegation in South Sudan, said that they had provided capacity and skills to support the East African country in marking and tracking weapons.

“We provided three electronic marking machines to South Sudan to mark their weapons, and also to create database.

“We also installed the RECSA small arms tracing system and we trained personnel on marking weapons as well as how to install database,’’ Fataki said.

He added that they would provide office equipment to boost the capacity of the South Sudan bureau on small arms control and train law enforcement agencies on Physical Security Stockpile Management (PSSM).

According to him, this is to raise their capacity in managing weapons and ammunition.

Fataki said that disarmament was a long process which required participation of local communities so that they owned the process and could only be conducted in conjunction with security to protect those being disarmed.

“Disarmament also does not mean the physical removal of weapons from the civilian hands but it also address social, economic, political development, good governance and security sector reform.

“If the whole population is catered for in all aspects, there will be no need or demand of small arms in the hands of civilians,” he said. (Xinhua/NNN)

Edited by Fatima Sule and Olisa Ifeajika

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