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Sierra Leone News: Sierra Leone gets Weapon Marking Machine

RSLAFThe Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA) yesterday received two Electric Marking Machines through its partnership with the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV).
The Marking Machines if effectively utilized, will aid the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms and the Government in general, to trace weapons in the possession of primary forces and civilians in Sierra Leone.
According to the Commissioner of the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms, Retired Brigadier Modibo Lymon, the acquisition of the two Weapon Marking Machines is a fulfilment of Article 18 of the ECOWAS Convention which mandated all member states to apply a unique marking on all weapons belonging to their primary forces and those in civilian possession.
Commissioner Lymon acknowledged that the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has rendered major supports in enhancing the Commissions activities as enshrined in the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms Act No. 6 of 2010.
Explaining the procedures for marking weapons in the country, the Deputy Commissioner of SLeNCSA, Retired Colonel Sahr Sina stated that the Commission will use the survey report by the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) to trace all blacksmith sites in the country, as the weapons that are in the hands of the official forces, will not be hard to track.
Commissioner Sina revealed that they will be marking the weapons in collaboration with other West African States, as it will ease the trace of weapons from other countries.
Nationally, the weapons will be orderly coded starting with ECOWAS code, the national code and the force that the gun belongs to.
He added that civilians that possess arms must have police clearance and recommendation from Paramount Chiefs.
He however acknowledged that the lack of mobility and equipment will pose challenge to the operations of the Commission.
Handing over the Marking Machines, the Regional Manager, Mano River Union (MRU) for Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), Chris Lang expressed gratitude to the Government of Sierra Leone for its effort in the control of arms in the country.
Madam Lang disclosed that the AOAV has discovered over two thousand blacksmith houses that produce weapons in the country and pleaded for an amnesty to be granted on existing producers of short guns in the country, as their livelihood is dependent on such.
She pledged a continued collaboration with Sierra Leone in the control of weapons as long as the government continues its support to the operations of the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms.
The Representative of the Chief of Staff, Mustapha Kargbo expressed gratitude to the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) for providing the machines for the country as it will contribute greatly to strengthen the security of the country.
He pledged to persuade the government to increase budget for the operations of SLeNCSA as there can be no development without proper security.
By Keifa M. Jaward
Thursday September 05, 2013

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