GASABO - A meeting to sensitize senior government officials on the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) on arms control and management was held yesterday at Hotel Novotel in Kigali.
The meeting which was also attended by Dr. Francis Sang, the Executive Secretary of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), is the second to be held in the.country.
Amb. Joseph Mutaboba, the Secretary General in the Ministry of Internal Security presided over the meeting where he highlighted some of Rwanda’s achievements.
“With the ratification of the Nairobi protocol in February 2005, the government of Rwanda with other members was committed to apply best practices in the protocol,” he said.
He pointed out that after the official launch of the National Focal Point against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in March 2003, Rwanda destroyed 7,500 light weapons and 160 tones of explosives in July 2008.
Consequently, the country also prides itself for being the first of the 12 countries signatory to the Nairobi protocol to revise and enforce a national arms registration system, among others.
Stressing on the meeting’s main focus – the NAP – Amb. Mutaboba outlined the issues involved as being, the designation of focal points in different pertinent institutions, the review of the law against illicit arms, information exchange between concerned organs, raising awareness and, collection and disposal of the arms, among others.
“The aim of the meeting is to brief top government officials on the process of development of the national action plan for the country with a view of encouraging informed discussions, support and contributions towards this important process,” said Dr. Sang.
“This meeting precedes national workshops at the provincial level to sensitize law enforcement officers and civil society,” he added, saying that it aimed at involving major stakeholders and incorporating their views in the NAP.
The Netherlands government is reported to have provided RECSA with resources to fund the process in Rwanda.