Rwanda hosts UN meeting on curbing illicit arms in Central Africa

The 45th meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) opened in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Tuesday with a call for fresh impetus against proliferation of illicit arms to address security challenges.

Experts’ meeting started on Tuesday which will be followed by foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday.

Top issues on the agenda are the political situation in Central Africa and a review of disarmament and arms limitation program in the region.

Speaking at the opening, the Permanent Secretary in Rwandan foreign ministry Claude Nikobisanzwe cited current situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), and terrorism menace by Nigeria’s militant group Boko Haram among the security challenges.

“States have to pursue their ongoing efforts against the proliferation of illicit arms,” he said. Without peace and security it will be impossible to realize the aspirations of our populations, he added.

Anne Chantal Nama, the outgoing chairperson of 45th meeting of experts of the committee, mentioned the need for holistic approach to address the region’s security challenges.

Effective implementation of a regional strategy against terrorism and the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons is vital step, she said.

Foreign ministers, experts and observers from regional and international organizations from the 11 member countries of the committee will attend the meeting.

The UNSAC, which consists of the countries including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe, meets twice a year at to discuss disarmament, terrorism, armed conflicts, piracy and other issues in the region.

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