By Ken Sackey/Benjamin Hallo, GNA
Accra, June 16, 2017 (GNA) – Government is creating a national database of small arms and light weapons in an effort to curb their proliferation in the country and in the sub-region.
Additionally, government is also taking measures to mark weapons in the custody of the security agencies to ensure the security of weaponry and its accountability to prevent misapplication and sales to private persons.
Interior Minister Ambrose Dery, who disclosed this in Accra on Thursday, said the weapons marking exercise would be extended to civilian gun owners to facilitate easy tracing of the weapons when they are used to commit crimes.
Interacting with the management and staff of the National Commission on Small Arms to acquaint himself with the work and challenges of the institution, he said those moves were in sync with government’s policy to link all databases to the national identification system for easier reference.
Noting government’s concern for the security of the country, Mr Dery said insecurity was a disincentive to investments in any economy, adding that peace and security were preconditions for sustainable economic development.
« We also know that we are faced with challenges of Ghanaian mind set which also contribute to the feeling of insecurity and fear and that of mob justice.
« These have been exacerbated by the proliferation of small arms, » he noted, adding that government would ensure that there was peace, safety and access to justice at various levels.
The Minister said he would see to it that the Commission collaborated effectively with related institutions under the Interior Ministry to curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
He said the Ministry would also support the institution to review and modernise the Arms and Ammunition Laws which had been rendered obsolete by modern developments.
Also, the Ministry would see to it that protocols and treaties on small arms and light weapons to which Ghana had acceded and ratified would be made to reflect in the countries domestic laws.
Mr Dery acknowledged the numerous challenges of the Commission, including accommodation and human resource, assuring that those issues would be tackled in due course.
He said budgetary allocations would soon be made for the recruitment of officers for the Commission for the various regions as well as districts, as promised by government.
He said publications would be made in the media to avoid « funny and illegal processes that hit security institutions under the Interior Ministry sometime past ».