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Friday, 07 April 2017

Roundtable \ National Roundtable on Civilian Disarmament in Nigeria

From 5 to 6 April 2017, the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons of Nigeria (PRESCOM) hosted a roundtable meeting focusing on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration in Nigeria.

In attendance were security advisers to State Governors, Federal Government officials notably from the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, the Interior, the Nigerian Customs, Immigration and Nigerian Civil Defence Corp as well as members of civil society organizations such as the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and the Nigerian branch of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WANSA). PRESCOM’s multilateral partners from ECOWAS, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Abuja, Nigeria were also present.

These roundtable discussions provided the forum for state-level security advisers to exchange ideas, experiences in DDR activities with colleagues and policymakers at the Federal Government level. Particular focus was on key issues that emerged in past and current civilian disarmament efforts. Outcomes of voluntary and involuntary weapons collection programmes in some states were presented, while social and economic preconditions for reintegrated individuals were also debated and discussed. The roundtable participants identified the need for a national coordinating mechanism, which would facilitate greater inter-institutional cooperation between states and the Federal Government in civilian disarmament matters.

The two-day event was the first organized dialogue which brought together state and federal-level experts to discuss civilian disarmament initiatives in Nigeria. The Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), financed by the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), provided technical support to this meeting.