Monday, 19 July 2021

Tripartite mission of ECOWAS, BICC and MAG \ Reactivation of the Guinea-Bissau National Commission for SALW Control

From 19 to 30 July 2021, a tripartite mission composed of ECOWAS, BICC and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) carried out a combined physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) and humanitarian mine action (HMA) assessment. The team was joined by a PSSM expert drawn from the pool of experts created by the ECOWAS-Germany Regional Competency Training of Trainers on PSSM.

In many countries, the needs to improve the management of stocks of arms and ammunition are challenging. Photo: Nikhil Acharya

The mission was a follow-up activity to consultative engagements that had taken place between Guinea-Bissau, the ECOWAS Small Arms Division and BICC in Abuja, Nigeria in December 2018 and can be placed within the framework of the roadmap of activities related to the reactivation of the Guinea-Bissau National Commission for SALW Control. The objectives of this mission were to

\         determine the level of physical security of the arms and ammunition sites visited and assess the stockpile management procedures in place,

\         assess the level of risk,

\         identify needs to improve the management of stocks of arms and ammunition,

\         identify needs for the destruction of anti-personnel mines.

The risk assessment focussed on

\         the physical state of the infrastructure in terms of safety and security,

\         the storage conditions of weapons and ammunition,

\         the inventory and the condition of the stored weapons and ammunition,

\         the knowledge of the staff responsible for stockpile management,

\         the needs to improve the security of designated stockpiles.

Secondary objectives of the mission were to identify key work areas that could be covered under the potential Five–Year Plan of Action on the Implementation of the ECOWAS Convention and to provide continued advice on the institutional development of Guinea-Bissau's National Commission on SALW control.

The output of the mission is a PSSM/HMA assessment report with specific recommendations for each site visited, which is submitted to the government of Guinea-Bissau. This report will be validated by the government of Guinea-Bissau and presented to its leadership in 2022.

This mission was conducted within the framework of the ongoing ECOWAS-government of Germany cooperation that focuses on a regional response to practical arms control measures through the legally binding ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials of 2006.