The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has called for the support of Ghanaians in its fight against the proliferation of small arms and its related violence in the country.
According to the Commission, uncontrolled accumulation and spread of small arms and light weapons have claimed the lives of several Ghanaians including security personnel in line of their duties.
Recounting the number of personnel who were killed in line of their duty this year, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong Manso, Board Chairman of the commission in a statement said, “At the recent Police Memorial Day commemoration held on the 30th November 2019, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in his address expressed concern that Nine (9) police personnel had died in line of duty this year 2019 alone…barely three days after the Police Memorial Day, it was reported that another Police Officer who was performing his lawful duty…”
The list of cases increased after news broke “7th and 8th December 2019, that a Police and a BNI officer, as well as a female teacher, have been shot dead at Mankesim in the Central Region and Walewale in the North East Region respectively…”
The Commission amongst other things has assured Ghanaians of its efforts to curb the menace.
Details of Statement below;
ILLICIT SMALL ARMS KILLING POLICE OFFICERS IN LINE OF DUTY
The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has noted with consternation the number of Ghanaians who have died as a result of gun violence, particularly the number of police personnel who have died in line of duty this year 2019.
At the recent Police Memorial Day commemoration held on the 30th November, 2019, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in his address expressed concern that Nine (9) police personnel had died in line of duty this year 2019 alone. Then on the 3rd December, 2019, barely three days after the Police Memorial Day, it was reported that another Police Officer who was performing his lawful duty, providing escort in a bullion van, had been gunned down by armed criminals in Sefwi Asempaneye in the Sefwi Wiawso area of the Western North Region.
It has again been reported on the 7th and 8th December, 2019, that a Police and a BNI officer, as well as a female teacher have been shot dead at Mankesim in the Central Region and Walewale in the North East Region respectively.
Whilst the Commission extends its condolences to the families of the departed officers and other families who have lost their loved ones through gun violence this year, the Commission acknowledges the fact that this is a phenomenon that requires urgent Government attention.
As a country, we cannot allow our men and women who do not shy away from their duty to protect us and put their lives in harm’s way to die in this manner. These acts of demented violence should not be entertained.
It is for these reasons that the Commission is working assiduously to curb gun proliferation in all forms by carrying out public education and awareness on the dangers associated with the illicit gun trade, manufacture and abuse. The Commission is also marking weapons to enhance easy identification and tracing of guns used to commit crime. We shall also continue to collaborate with other security agencies to prevent these needless killings using small arms.
In spite of the Commission’s efforts at curbing proliferation of Small Arms in the country, challenges still persist. This, however, does not call for despair; we need to stand together to defeat the criminals.
We therefore call on the public to join us in the fight against the illicit small arms trade, manufacture and trafficking by these criminals. This requires citizens to be vigilant and report any suspected illegal activities to the law enforcement agencies.
Whilst conceding that there are gaps in the current laws for fighting the proliferation of small arms, efforts are being made to review the laws to respond to these emerging security threats of the 21st century and enhance the fight against the proliferation of illicit small arms.
To this end, we call on all stakeholders, particularly traditional authorities, leaders of faith-based organisations, the media, the National Peace Council and the general public to support our endeavours to strengthen our gun laws to prevent gun-violence deaths and make our society safe to attract the needed investment for development.
……………………………………………….. REV. PROF. PAUL FRIMPONG MANSO BOARD CHAIRMAN