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WANEP Gambia pushes for ratification of anti-munitions convention

Nov 30, 2015, 9:53 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

WANEP - Gambia Thursday held a roundtable meeting with key players from the government to accelerate The Gambia’s ratification of the Cluster Munitions Convention which prohibits all use and production of cluster munitions.

The daylong gathering at the CIAM conference hall in Kanifing was attended by security personnel, and officials of Gambia Revenue Authority, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and National Assembly.

Speaking on the occasion, Anna Jones, acting national coordinator of WANEP-Gambia, said the roundtable was held to bring key players from various institutions to discuss ways to accelerate the ratification process of the munitions convention.

Over the years, she said, WANEP-Gambia has been working closely with The Gambia government to create awareness over the effects of small ammunitions and landmines.

As part of the activities, Ms Jones said WANEP-Gambia has conducted several activities to promote the ratification.

She said WANEP is in the forefront in the ratification of the convention because it is an active member of the cluster munitions organization which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We have been advocating for the ratification of the convention since it came into force in 2010,” she said, adding that WANEP has been the focal point for the international campaign for landmines and cluster munitions.

There are 118 signatories to the convention as of late 2014; 98 of the signatories are all state parties. The Gambia is part of countries that are yet to ratify the convention.

Mamadou L.F.K Jammeh, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Defence, said the convention is important in limiting, monitoring and preventing dangerous and exploited ammunition.

“This is very important to our security and safety, especially the rural communities,” he said.

Mr Jammeh said there is urgent need to take control of violence and discourage the spread of ammunition and other small arms.