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SLeNCSA Commissioner says they are challenged

December 15, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura

Deputy Commissioner at the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA), Rtd. Col. Sahr Sinnah, has disclosed that lack of office space, late disbursement of funds by the government and lack of roadworthy vehicles to implement their activities are some of their challenges as a viable commission.

He explained that the vehicles that are available at the moment are more of liabilities to the commission than asset because of the high maintenance cost, adding that the commission also lacks adequate office space to accommodate the Bureau and Arms Registry.

“In the absence of an office space to house the Bureau and the Registry, temporary accommodation has been provided at the commission’s conference room,” he said.

Rtd. Col. Sinnah said government had approved some fund for the commission to purchase two vehicles but that the procurement was put on hold because of the outbreak of Ebola which seriously hampered the work of the commission.

He said that the commission was established by an Act of Parliament, Act No.  6 of 2010 with a mandate in compliance with Article 24 of ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Proliferation and other related materials, and the United Nations Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit trade in small arms and light weapon in all aspects.

Rtd. Col. Sinnah said the commission is responsible to control the proliferation and illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons, their ammunition and other related materials and to provide for other related matters throughout the country.

The Deputy Commissioner further explained that in February2011, the commission produced a five year National Action Plan to guide its operations from 2011 to 2015.

He revealed that as part of that Action Plan , in 2012 the commission spearheaded the drafting of the Arms and Ammunition Bill which was enacted into law by Parliament to provide for all transactions relating to the manufacture, sale , possession, transfer and use of small arms and light weapon within the country, adding that in September 2012 the commission publicly destroyed 4,773 weapons that were collected by the Arms for Development project in Makeni. He said they had also collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to implement the European Union small arms project in Kenema, Kailahun, Kono and Koinadugu districts.

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