SLeNCSA holds 2nd workshop on development strategy of NAP

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A group photo of participants at the workshop

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA) in collaboration with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Small Arms Survey (SAS) and the German Federal Foreign Office, has on December 6th,  held a second engagement on the development of a five-year National Action Plan for the commission.

The workshop which conveyed brainboxes together, was held at the Atlantic Lumley Hotel, Lumley Beach in Freetown. The workshop will last for three days, 6th – 8th December 2022.

The review of the five years NAP, which expired long ago, was last year done by SLeNCSA in collaboration with MAG and SAS,  and the findings and conclusions of that review reinforced the need for the development of a new NAP that will capture current situation and expand the mandate of SLeNCSA.

The NAP development process will consist of four steps which include diagnostic phase, development phase, validation phase and dissemination phase. The NAP will be based on key principles identified during the analysis phase in 2021-2022 and those principles include national ownership, gender responsiveness, inclusion and meaningful participation of national actors including civil society organisations among several others.

The objective of the event is to develop a five-year strategy that will orient the development of the NAP which will be based on the diagnostic workshops and other relevant workshops.

The expected outcome of the workshop includes identified and clearly formulated strategic priorities for the future NAP, a formulated five-year strategy for the National Action Plan on Small Arms and an established drafting committee to develops a timeline for production of the strategy.

In his remark, Francis Wairagu, Senior Research Consultant at the Small Arms Survey, said the goal of the three-day event was to develop strategy for SLeNCSA upon which the new NAP will be anchored.

He added that the purpose of the strategy is to ensure that the highlights of the NAP are grounded within the vision which will be anchored on intervention on the way to go.

He said during the three-day, experts and intellectual stakeholders will be crafting a vision and a mission for the commission. “After that we shall be doing a smooth analysis by highlighting the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that faced the commission among others,” he said.

Rtd. Colonel Binneh Kondeh Conteh, Commissioner of SLeNCSA, said the purpose of the second mission was to present a diagnostic report to the stakeholders involved in the first workshop and to initiate the development of the strategy that will frame the Nap.

He said the results of the workshop will be consolidated by a Drafting Committee, which will be responsible for drafting the strategy as part of the action plan with the technical support of the Small Arms Survey. “The commission will validate the proposals made by the SAS throughout the process and ay propose adjustment when necessary,” he said.

Commissioner Conteh noted that the activities in the NAP are based on country’s post-conflict context which includes the United Nations Programme of Action (UNPOA) on the control of small arms and the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other related materials including the Arms Trade Treaty.

“The NAP focuses on twelve thematic areas of Government intervention like legal framework, National Coordination System, Transfer Controls, Arms Marketing, Record keeping, processing, identifying and tracing seized/recovered arms, physical security and stockpile management, civilian weapons, craft firearms, disposal, cross border collaboration and coordination and gender and capacity building will be carried as cross-cutting issues,” he said.

He said the activities in the NAP will be closely integrated into the overall aims and objectives of the Agenda of the New Direction and aligned with the aspiration of the Government to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“We are happy to inform you that since the establishment of the Commission, our partners have remained important and are providing considerable assistance to the commission for which we are very grateful. Our partners, especially MAG, SAS and ECOWAS have identified the commission as the appropriate outfit to take responsibility over the remaining activities such as the mobilization and destruction of unserviceable firearms and ammunition collected and other activities awaiting approval by our national authorities,” he said.

Delivering his speech as Guest of Honour on behalf of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Usman Banya, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Internal Affairs, said his ministry has been instrumental in piloting the cabinet papers on the amendment of the SLeNCSA Act of 2010 and the Arms and Ammunitions Act of 2012.

“It is strongly believed that this workshop will bring up inputs and strategies in addressing light weapons. The National Action Plan will serve as a road map in guiding the commission in making informed decision on all guns related matters,” he stated.

He concluded by thanking the Mines Advisory Group and Small Arms Survey for their astute support towards the Small Arms Commission.

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