Community leaders discuss small arms and light weapons control in Red Sea State, Port Sudan
Port Sudan, Today, the North Sudan DDR Commission (NSDDRC) and the Ministry of Interior, with support from the UNDP- DDR program, opened a two-day small arms and light weapons (SALW) sensitization workshop in Red Sea State, Port Sudan City. This two-day workshop aims to raise awareness at the state and locality level on the dangers of small arms and their proliferation, and discuss small arms control measures that are acceptable to communities. Representatives from state government and ministries as well as localities are taking part in the workshop, which welcomed over 100 participants on its first day.
During the opening ceremony, which took place at 9:30am, at the Peace Conferences Hall in Port Sudan City, Mr. Sidig Mohamed Ali, NSDDRC Planning Manager and Representative of the General Commissioner, “Thanked the local State Government and community leaders for their successful support to DDR in Eastern Sudan and also wishes that this workshop will help to promote sensitization and awareness of the dangers of small arms and light weapons among societies”.
For his part, Minister of Social Welfare, Deputy Governor of Red Sea State, Eng. Hamid Salih AL-Sanay expressed “welcome to the NSDDRC and that Red Sea government is willing to push it up, especially about the dangers of small arms and light weapons among eastern communities”.
This workshop is part of the Community Security and Arms Control project (2010-2011) in East Sudan. This project supports the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme in the state by contributing to the stabilization of communities so that the reintegration of ex-combatants can be successful. The project also aims to address the challenges and dangers of small arms proliferation. Interventions focus on communities with high levels of destruction during the war and with large numbers of returning ex-combatants.
Mr. Peter Gathuru, UNDP DDR AC Project Coordinator – East Sudan officer in Eastern Sudan, “thanks the community leaders and civilians in East of Sudan for supporting peace and DDR, and is hoping to see the same commitment in the control of small arms and light weapons”.
This programme is being co-financed by the state government and UNDP. The funds provided by the State government will support the participation in the programme of the 105 community members, who were selected on the basis of willingness and commitment to the training program and come from communities with a high concentration of former combatants. More specifically talented youngsters who are school dropouts, young mothers, single headed households and returnees. The UNDP’s contribution will for its part support the participation of the 110 ex-combatants who are part of the DDR programme.
Following the workshop, on March 9, a one-day training session will be conducted for practitioners and key stakeholders to prepare for the implementation of a Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey. The survey will provide the state government, state ministries and police with evidence-based information on SALW perceptions among the civilian population, which will in turn help inform their SALW control policies. The training session will provide practitioners with the skills required to conduct the survey.