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United Nations organises sensitisation programme for Andani, Abudu chiefs

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The United Nations Joint Programme on Human Security has organised a sensitisation programme for Andani and Abudu chiefs in Yendi on the proliferation of small arms and its impact on peace, security and development.

The programme was jointly organised by the National Commission on Small Arms.

The Programme Field Co-ordinator of the UN body, Mr Ernest Asigri said the event was a follow up of a meeting with the chiefs.

He said a similar sensitisation programme on the proliferation on small arms has been organised for chiefs in Tamale, Bawku and Wa to disengage people in the manufacturing and supply of small arms.

The Acting Executive Secretary National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Mr Jones Borteye Applerh said the programme was launched in Tamale in December, 2009 by Vice President John Dramani Mahama.

He said while efforts are being made to bring development to the people there are concerns about how to sustain the peace in order to create the necessary environment for economic empowerment.

Mr Applerh said the sensitisation programme include educating key stakeholders such as chiefs, opinion leaders, blacksmiths, licensed arms dealers and Police Armourers in all the four programme sites on the dangers of illicit small arms proliferation.

He said the second phase would involve sensitisation of the public of the targeted communities and an arms collection and destruction exercise.

Mr Applerh said globally 1000 people die each day from gunshot wounds and three times as many are left with severe injuries.

He indicated that Baseline Assessment of illicit small Arms in Ghana conducted by the Commission in 2004 estimated that there were at least 220,000 small arms in Civilian hands in Ghana.

He said out of this number only 95,000 representing 43.2 per cent have been registered leaving a significant 56.8 per cent or 125,000 illicit guns in circulation.

He announced that more than 75,000 of the guns in circulation were illegally manufactured locally in spite of the outright ban on the local manufacture of small arms.

The Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Issah Zakaria stated that the sorrow that the proliferation of small arms in the Eastern Corridor of the Northern Region has brought to families cannot be recounted as well as its impact on peace security and development.

Source: GNA

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