Government Representatives and Community Leaders discuss small arms and light weapons control in Kassala
Kassala, 19 January 2011. Over 100 participants including representatives from state government, ministries and localities met in Kassala City to deliberate small arms control measures that are acceptable to communities. These deliberations were part of a two-day sensitization workshop on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), which aims to raise awareness at the state and locality level on the dangers of small arms and their proliferation. The workshop is organized by the North Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (NSDDRC) and the Ministry of Interior, with UNDP support.
In the opening ceremony, Dr. Sulafeldeen Salih, NSDDRC General Commissioner, stressed that “Community security and arms control is an important component of peace and security in Sudan, particularly in states affected by war such as Kassala state.” He added, “It requires the participation and efforts of all community members starting with the every individual citizen.” Dr. Salih also praised the dedicated work of the Ministry of Interior in raising awareness about and the control of small arms and light weapons.
Mr. Abdel Aziz Malik, representative of the Ministry of Interior, underscored the importance of the full involvement of community members and organizations in public awareness and in spreading messages on small arms and light weapons control.
“Government is working on the peace and stabilization of this state, especially given the fact that its security has been affected by bordering countries,” emphasized Mr. Mohamed Yousif Adam, Governor of Kassala state. “Control of small arms is important for sustainable development in Kassala, and we are ready for full collaboration with the NSDDRC and UNDP on this programme.”
This workshop is part of the Community Security and Arms Control project in East Sudan which is implemented over the period 2010-2011 in support of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme in the state. The project addresses the challenges and dangers of small arms proliferation and contributes to the stabilization of communities, which in turn enhances the potential of successful reintegration of ex-combatants. Interventions focus on communities that have witnessed high levels of destruction during the war and that have large numbers of returning ex-combatants.
Mr. Basil Massey, UNDP DDR Programme Director recalled “Kassala was one of the first states where DDR operations were launched and where successful reintegration has taken place. Despite the many obstacles it faced, it was the first state to establish a community security and small arms control program, and it has since come a long way.” Mr. Massey praised donor countries for their continued support to the project.
A one-day training session will be conducted today to provide practitioners with the skills required to conduct a Knowledge, Attitude and Practice survey and to prepare for its implementation. The survey will provide evidence-based information on perceptions of SALW among the civilian population, which will help inform SALW control policies adopted by the state government, state ministries and the police.
Tajelsir Alzein, NSDDRC, phone: +249923426441, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mohamed Elgabanni, UNDP, phone: +249(0)123456000, email: Mohamed.Elgabbani@undp.org
Monique Tummers, UNDP, phone: +249(0)914108772, e-mail: email@example.com