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Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Raymond Issa Kabia has disclosed that the government will soon destroy a total cache of 6,155 fire arms and ammunitions assembled in the country’s Northern region.
Hon. Raymond Issa Kabbia spoke on Tuesday in the well of parliament in the process of tabling the Arms and Ammunition Act 2012, the said which is waiting for enactment.
The Minister said the 6,155 arms and ammunition in question were the ones collected under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Year 2 program on the Arms for Development Program undertaken by the UNDP 2 years ago after the end of Sierra Leone’s 11 year civil war. Most of these ammunitions he continued, were gathered in the South and Eastern parts of the nation.
Explaining the importance of the new Arms and Ammunition act 2012 the deputy minister of internal affairs noted that the ruling government is currently in the process of destroying such arms. But that government needs the support of parliament and the people of Sierra Leone to carry out such mandate. He also stated that the new act will replace the old one dated as far back as 1955 and that Sierra Leone was the second nation to rally the United Nation convention on arms needs to domesticate such laws to strengthen with other sub-regional nations.
The new bill, Raymond Kabia continued, is a seven part act which will regulate and control the use of arms and ammunition. Especially cross-boarder arms activities which pose a serious threat to sustainable development.
Several MP’s made contributions to the enactment of the new law, although some were a little critical about the bill.
Hon Bernadette Lahai of SLPP opposition, Hon Ibrahim Sorie of APC also supported the enactment of the bill which he noted will also consider regulating stock piles of arms belonging to SLP and RSLAF.
In conclusion the deputy minister of internal affairs promised that all the collected arms will be destroyed before the November 17th 2012 election.
By Boyzy Balogun
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