The West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) yesterday started a two- day regional civil society forum at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.
The objective of the forum was to review civil society’s nature and role in combating the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the sub-region.
The meeting brought together representatives of civil society national networks and coalitions across West Africa, Journalists, representatives of National commissions, government officials, experts on small arms control and peace building and development partners among others. The forum is sponsored by ECOSAP and the ECOWAS commission’s Small Arms Control Programme. In his statement, President of WAANSA, Baffour Dokyi Amoa said that, he is happy to congratulate the ECOWAS Commission for the collaborative stance the commission has taken to empower and work with civil society organizations to fight against this menace. He added that the joint missions to Member States and the continuous lobbying and campaigning have almost brought the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other related materials to the point where we believe the convention will enter into force either by end of this year or early next year. Speeches were also made by other organizations and the ceremony was climaxed by contributions from Freetong Players. The forum continues today.
By Emmanuella Kallon