UNODC and its partners facilitate the process of marking and registration of small arms and light weapons in Niger
Following the armed conflict in Libya in 2011 and that of Mali in 2013, the Sahel countries now face a growing availability and trafficking of small arms and light weapons. The authorities of these countries however have very little means of identifying weapons legally owned by the military and security forces.
To counter this problem, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its UN partners including the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), have donated three machines for marking small arms and light weapons to the National Commission for the Collection and Control of Illicit Arms of the Republic of Niger.
With the financial support from Japan and the European Union, this initiative is part of the implementation of the International Tracing Instrument, adopted in 2005 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and support the implementation of the Protocol against the illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).
In close collaboration with its regional partners, UNODC and the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) also held on 25 and 26 September 2014 in Niamey, Niger, a training workshop on the marking and registration of light weapons and small arms. The workshop aimed to help Nigerien authorities trace in a fast and reliable manner illicit small arms and strengthen their capacity to implement international best practices of marking these weapons.
Experts from civil society and government officials from the National Commission of Ivory Coast on small arms and light weapons attended the workshop and provided practical training on the use of marking machines and on the gun registry techniques. In the context of South-South collaboration, the National Commission of Côte d'Ivoire shared with the authorities of Niger their own experiences in conducting the marking.
These activities are part of the Global Programme on Firearms and the UNODC Contribution to UN Strategy on the Sahel which aims to fight against transnational organized crime, including terrorism, illicit trafficking firearms and corruption. In addition to providing technical assistance to member countries, UNODC works closely with national authorities on the implementation of preventive and safety measures under the Protocol on Firearms, supplementing the UNTOC.Photo Source: OSCE