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Illicit Use Of Small Arms Threat To Humanity 

By Kini Nsom

The Executive Director of Women in Alternative Action, WAA, Cameroon, Mrs. Justine Kwachu Kumche, has warned that the circulation and use of small arms and light weapons constitute a grave threat to the entire humanity.

Kwachu Kumche was speaking at opening of a week-long training workshop on gun violence in Yaounde last week.
WAA Cameroon in collaboration with the Economic Community for Central African States, ECCAS, and the program for the support for peace and security, PAPS, organised the occasion as part of activities marking the week of action against violence.

The participants who came from all ten regions of the country were trained on research skills and how to gather data and concrete information on the proliferation of small arms, the control mechanisms government has put in place and their loop holes.
It was in this light that the WAA Cameroon Executive Director equally condemned the fact that illicit production of small arms and light weapons was rampant in the country.

The researchers who are being trained, she stated, will make a survey that would help WAA Cameroon to formulate and suggest an up-to-date amendment of gun laws to government and help her also to master the areas of insecurity in the country.

Given the emerging challenges of insecurity in the country, it is generally believed that gun laws in Cameroon are either half-measure laws or outdated.
It has been noted that the illicit possession of guns in certain homes exacerbate the gravity of domestic violence that women especially suffer. Moreover, porous borders make it easier for the illicit circulation of arms from conflict prone countries like Nigeria, Chad and Central African Republic.

Measures
Besides educating communities against the illicit use of arms, WAA Cameroon wants to gather data and make a comparative analysis of the loopholes in the country’s gun regulatory instruments with existing and credible laws in some other countries.

The NGO also holds that insecurity could be cut to size if arms fabricated locally are given serial and registration numbers before being sold.
For one thing, WAA-Cameroon is seeking to fine-tune Cameroon’s legislation in matters of institutional framework regulating guns. 

Protecting Women Against Gun Violence
WAA Cameroon also intensified the campaign against gun violence especially on women.
According to statistics, women are three times more likely to die if there is a gun in the house. It is established that the perpetrators of such acts of gun violence is a spouse or a partner, often with a prior record of domestic abuse.

It was revealed that of the 900 million small arms in the world today, more than 75 percent are in the hands of private individuals most of whom are men. Thus, women are paying a disproportionate heavy price for the multi-billion dollar trade in small arms.

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