The Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has said the fight against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons remains one of the government’s main priorities to ensure peace and security in Ghana.
He said the Akufo-Addo-led government believes that stopping the illegal circulation and proliferation of small arms and light weapons is important to prevent conflict, enhance internal security, prevent violent crime, and promote sustainable development.
Inaugurating the governing board of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons in Accra, he charged members to put in place robust measures to control the illicit trade, manufacture, and flow of small arms and light weapons into the country effectively.
The minister said the situation with illicit small arms and light weapons calls for enhanced and sustainable preventive approaches, in addition to raising the alertness and the capacity of the security agencies, especially at entry points into the country.
Dery said the Commission’s activities are critical and should complement the activities and operations of the security agencies in sustaining peace and security.
“You need to raise awareness among the populace, especially border communities, and be vigilant in gathering information on the illicit arms trade, manufacture, and smuggling to enable the law-enforcement agencies to act swiftly,” he said.
Dery said the country must take proactive action and make greater efforts to deepen stability and protect Ghanaian society against tension and conflicts which run the risk of escalating into armed violence by limiting access to small arms and light weapons by unauthorized individuals and encouraging the abuse of arms and ammunition.
The minister commended the board members on their appointment and assured them of his support. He said his door is open to everyone with workable ideas and suggestions for how to strengthen Ghana’s gun control and monitoring systems.
These will help counter effectively the recent emerging trends in organized crime and the associated demand for small arms and light weapons, Dery said.