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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

 

African Parliament to discuss curbing illicit firearm trade 

JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) -- The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) will this week host a regional seminar with the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Johannesburg to curb the illicit trade in firearms in Africa.

The seminar, scheduled for March 2-3, is meant to increase parliamentary engagement, understanding and ownership of regional and international arms control instruments.

PAP President, Roger Nkodo Dang said there is a need for the continent to fight the illicit trade in firearms in the continent.

“As a continental Parliament, the PAP needs a strengthened mandate in order to effectively facilitate and provide a platform for continuous parliamentary action and engagement on the risks posed by SALW,” he said.

Many African countries have not ratified the Malabo Protocol which will give PAP legislative powers. 

“Without full legislative powers, it will be challenging to effectively harmonize and coordinate national and regional efforts and legislations for silencing the guns in Africa by 2020,” he said.

Karin Olofsson, secretary general of the Parliamentary Forum on SALW said violence and prolonged conflicts in several African countries are fuelled by the availability and misuse of illicit SALW.

“Illicit arms flows negatively affect sustainable development and pose a threat to human security and sustainable peace. Effective steps to tackle the uncontrolled proliferation of SALW are crucial to prevent and reduce armed violence, hence the need to empower law-makers to reinforce their legislative, oversight and awareness-raising functions for national implementation of international arms control frameworks,” Olofsson said.

Legislators from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi will take part in the seminar with other PAP members.

             

 

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