The attention given in recent years to the problem of the illicit manufacture, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons, and their excessive accumulation, has certainly grown, permitting substantial progress to be made, particularly at the regional level.
Nevertheless, much remains to be done in order to develop and implement concrete programmes, policies and laws to effectively combat, prevent and eradicate the spread of those weapons.
Obsolete and redundant Small Arms & Light Weapons earmarked for disposal
According to the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control, and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Light Weapons shall include the following portable weapons designed for use by several persons serving as a crew: heavy machine guns, automatic cannons, howitzers, mortars, of less than 100mm caliber, grenade launchers, anti-tank weapons and launchers, recoilless guns, shoulder-fired rockets, anti-aircraft weapons and launchers, and air defense weapons.
Where as Small arms are weapons designed for personal use and shall include: light machine guns, sub-machine, including machine pistols, fully automatic rifles, assault rifles and semi-automatic rifles.
Having recognized the Grave consequences brought about by the illicit manufacture, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons which have posed a wide range of humanitarian and socio-economic consequences and pose a serious threat to peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable development at the individual, local, national, regional and international levels,
Concerned also by the implications that poverty and underdevelopment may have for the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects,
Rwanda National Police through its department of Central Firearms Registry in conjunction with the Rwanda National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons has established firearms and ammunition destruction exercises with the support of Mines Advisory Group (MAG-Rwanda) working under Conventional Weapons and Ammunition Disposal & Stockpile Management (CWMD) project and since January, 2009.
Obsolete, surplus and redundant light Weapons have been destroyed so as to reduce the circulation thereof and thus enhance sustainable peace and security in the country and in the region.
In our next series we shall bring to your notice the details of small arms which include among others bullets, projectiles and other ammunitions and the modes used in their destruction in Rwanda among other initiatives to curb down the illicit proliferation thereof.