ECOWAS seeks solution to arms proliferation

The Economic Community of West African States has called for a multi-sectoral approach to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the sub-region.

ECOWAS made the call at the end of a three-day workshop held with relevant stakeholders in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mr Abdel-Fatal Musah, stressed the need for collective efforts to tackle arms proliferation, according to a statement on Monday.

Musah, who was represented at the workshop by Mr Ahoba Piex, advocated the establishment of a National Commission on Small Arms to tackle the challenge in the sub-region.

Musah said ECOWAS recognised Nigeria’s progress in the control of small arms and light weapons and the importance of aligning with global disarmament initiatives.

“Government officials must muster the political will to uphold reintegration promises made,’’ he stated.

Similarly, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at ECOWAS, Mr Musa Nuhu, recognised the ECOWAS Convention on SALW as a crucial document for fostering peace, stability and development.

Nuhu, who was represented by Mr Abdullahi Isah, noted that the workshop would serve as a valuable platform to enhance the understanding of the convention and identify critical areas where improvements were required.

“I urge you all to formulate strong strategies, foster coordinated efforts, and enhance regional cooperation to tackle the threats posed by SALW,’’ Nuhu stated.

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