Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Symbolic arms destruction exercise to commemorate UN Disarmament Day

On 9 July, Benue State's Governor Samuel Ortom and local authorities in collaboration with the Presidential Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) in Makurdi, Nigeria, organised the event to launch an arms destruction programme that seeks to destroy hundreds of weapons as part of Benue State’s Amnesty Programme.

Preparations to commemorate UN Disarmament Day underway at Benue State’s House of People. All photos: Pilar Reina\BICC

The programme has so far resulted in the recovery of over 700 assorted small-arms and ammunition, including grenades, automatic and semi-automatic weapons. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supports this programme by providing alternative livelihood opportunities in exchange for weapons surrendered. The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) is responsible for the destruction of the recovered weapons and ammunition.

The event was attended and supported by BICC. Following a request of the Nigerian government, BICC conducted a two-day PSSM training course with PRESCOM in August 2015. BICC will continue to provide capacity development activities on PSSM in two focus countries of the enhancement initiative–Nigeria and Mali in cooperation with MAG and the Verification Centre of the German Armed Forces (ZVBw).

Benue State has undertaken an Amnesty Programme that has so far recovered over 700 assorted small  arms and ammunition, including grenades, automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Some of these weapons were displayed during the symbolic event, and are slated for destruction in the following months.

Ambassador Imohe, Chairman of PRESCOM addressing representatives of Benue State’s law enforcement agencies, local authorities and members of Makurdi’s community.

Benue State’s Governor Samuel Ortom destroying the first weapons recovered as part the Amnesty Programme in the presence Mr. Orji Dickson, Programme Manager at PRESCOM (r.)