Project to address proliferation of small arms in Ghana launched

The Savings Lives Entity (SALIENT), a project by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies, is set to address the proliferation of small arms in Ghana.

The project, spearheaded by the UNDP with support from other agencies, including the National Commissions on Small Arms and Light Weapons, the United Nations, and civil society organizations (CSOs), will tackle the proliferation of small arms from the Sahel region to Ghana.

The UN Conflict and Related Development Analysis (CDA) on Ghana showed that despite Ghana’s peace and security infrastructure and historical resilience, there is recent evidence of increasing insecurity and pockets of violence.

The Northern Region, for instance, had experienced some level of insecurity as pockets of related ethnic violence had been reported.

According to the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, 1.2 million unregistered small firearms and light weapons are believed to be in circulation in Ghana.

Mr. Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, the D
eputy Resident Representative, UNDP Ghana Office, said in a speech that the SALIENT Project would focus on key interventions, including conducting a study, building capacity, supporting CSOs, and setting up a digital database.

‘We will be conducting a baseline study on detecting equipment at border posts.

The field mission recommended considering KAIPTC for this exercise.

Building the capacity of state institutions to support small arms tracing and record-keeping and supporting the national commission to deploy at border posts.

Supporting CSOs on small arms and light weapons in Ghana and coordinates non-state actors’ efforts to address small arms and ammunition proliferation for sustainable peace and development in Ghana and the ECOWAS region.

Finally, set up a digital database and consider advocacy around the enactment of the small arms bill, ‘he said.

Professor Paul Frimpong-Manso, the Board Chairperson for the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, said the SALIENT project aligned with
the Commission’s mission to prevent, eradicate, and combat the proliferation of small arms in Ghana.

The project, he noted, will provide catalytic support to address the multifaceted nature of armed violence in Ghana from a sustainable perspective.

Mr. Charles Abani, Resident Coordinator for the UN Ghana Office, said in an interview that the SALIENT project is an important path to improving the legislative framework on small arms in Ghana.

The project, he said, would also improve the capacity of state actors, particularly the Commission on Small Arms, to implement strategies on behalf of the Government to address the proliferation of arms.

Source: Ghana News Agency