PRESCOM To Mark Weapons In Military, Para-Military Formations | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Latest News

PRESCOM To Mark Weapons In Military, Para-Military Formations

Samuel Ortom
Posted: Jul 10, 2016 at 2:53 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)



The Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) has concluded plans to commence the marking of weapons in military and para-military formations across the country in line with international standards and procedures.

The Committee also noted that henceforth all weapons procured and brought into the country would be subject to established United Nations standards for safety checks.

Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe, Chairman of PRESCOM, disclosed this at the weekend in Makurdi while responding to a question from Independent shortly after the Symbolic Arms Destruction Exercise in commemoration of the United Nations Arms Destruction Day.

Dr. Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor, performed the symbolic destruction by destroying an AK 47 rifle.

The PRESCOM Chairman, explained that the essence of marking the weapons is with the aim of tracing the sources of illegal weapons found in possession of “unauthorised persons” and locate them to particular formation or armoury from which such weapons were lost.

He further said that when the exercise commences, weapons would be marked in areas that would be hard to erase and as such when found with unauthorised persons, it would also be traced to the particular armoury from where such weapons were stolen or lost, helping the authorities to know which agency was negligent.

Ambassador Imohe, who said the marking of weapons was the duty of PRESCOM, noted that at the moment weapons in the country were not marked hence it was difficult to trace which of the formations was culpable and also difficult to apportion blame.

While he argued that without proof of tracing which armoury they were got from, it has become necessary to destroy the weapons so as to ensure they were not recycled.

Earlier, in his address at the occasion, Imohe said there were about 690 million illegal small and light weapons in circulation; worldwide, adding that 8 million of such weapons could be traced to West Africa, Nigeria inclusive.

The programme was organised by the Benue State Government, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), PRESCOM and other partners.