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Alban Bagbin

Ghana has played a major role in stopping the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and has destroyed over 2,500 weapons since 2001, according to the Member of Parliament for Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency, Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

Addressing Parliamentarians from 12 countries in Africa on the strides Ghana has made in dealing with the illegal trade in guns, Hon. Bagbin stated that Ghana is an active member of the global efforts to control illicit small arms and light weapons.

?To this end, Ghana signed the ECOWAS moratorium on the importation, exportation, and manufacture of small arms and light weapons in 1998 and also signed and ratified the UN Treaty on Small Arms and Light Weapons and its consequent Plan of Action,? he said while addressing the Parliamentarians for Global Action(PGA) Workshop in Namibia.

He indicated that Ghana has played a significant role in SALW control in West Africa and in the implementation of the UNPoA since 2001 and much of the progress that has ben made in controlling SALW proliferation across the sub-region has been achieved through the ECOWAS Regional Moratorium on the importation, Exportation and Manufacture of small arms and Light Weapons in West Africa and subsequently the ECOWAS Convention, as well as other ECOWAS SALW instruments.

He pointed out that the government of Ghana deems the safety of its citizens a priority and has therefore tasked the Armed Forces, Police Service and the other Security Agencies to take the responsibility of fishing out illicit weapons in the country. He said it was the aim of the country reduce such weapons to a ?minumum?.

However, Hon. Bagbin cautioned that though Ghana is relatively stable, instability of neighbouring countries posses a lot of threat to it?s security and therefore collective approach to regulate the trade of arms would be a positive step to not only bring stability to the troubled countries, but also make the country more stable and safer.

In Kumasi last week armed thugs attacked citizens in the Ashanti regional capital and extra police have been deployed to the area to protect the public. There have been calls on President Mahama to stabilise the situation in the city and other areas in the country following clashes in the Northern and Volta Regions over the past week.

-Ghanaweb

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