ECCAS Against Circulation of Small Arms

A capacity building workshop to sensitise women-oriented-civil-society actors kicked off in Yaounde on February 18, 2015.

The rising wave of insecurity in Cameroon and some Central African States perpetrated by nebulous terrorists groups like the Nigerian-based sect, Boko Haram and the Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic is a nerve-wracking concern to the Economic Community for Central African States (ECCAS).

It is against this backdrop that the Economic Community of Central African States with its partners of Centre for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention (CPS-AVIP) and the European Union are organising a three-day capacity building training workshop from February 18 to 20, 2015 in Yaounde, to train women on armed violence, small arms and light weapons.

The workshop, according to one of the trainers, Justine Kwachu Kumche, is aimed at training women and other actors to sensitise and mobilise against violence inflicted on women during armed conflicts using small arms and light weapons. “The issue of small arms and light weapons is very important especially in this present time when we are experiencing insecurity,” she stated.

The context for the move in Cameroon, according to organisers of the workshop, is explained by the facts that Cameroon’s neighbours in the sub region have in the past years been witnessing armed conflicts that are spilling over to Cameroon which hitherto was considered a peace haven. The porous borders, the out-dated 1973 law on the circulation of small arms and light weapons, obnoxious cultural practices and the non-existence of a national commission to control the illicit sales of small arms and light weapons are also cited as contributing factors.

Even though men are the principal users of the small arms and light weapons in the society, Justine Kwachu holds that when there is armed conflict, women are the most affected.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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