Following a request from the Burundian National Commission for Civilian Disarmament and SALW (CDCPA) and in close coordination with UNDP, MAG has organised a training day for the heads of police stations from areas where the civilian disarmament campaign is likely to yield the most significant collections.
The CDCPA is revitalising the disarmament campaign, and ammunition and weapons surrendered by the population are often in a very degraded or unstable state. The policemen of the Burundian National Police (PNB) generally do not have the knowledge required to deal safely with them until MAG’s intervention to collect and destroy them.
How MAG is supporting the civilian disarmament campaign in Burundi
In order to reduce the risks of accidents, the MAG technicians taught 50 heads of police stations how to distinguish dangerous from very dangerous ammunition and what to do – or not to do – with them.
Safety during the manipulation of weapons was also emphasised. At the end of this tailored training, a leaflet about the basic safety guidelines was distributed to use as reference.
The training has proven useful, with a clear increase in knowledge of safe behaviours before and after the training. A lot of questions about situations already encountered by the police officers showed how they are highly involved in the civilian disarmament campaign and explains their interest for being taught because they know that their role is crucial, and the responsibilities given to them, very sensitive.
Apart from the training, several officers coming from the provinces were happy to salute “their weapons advisors” as they already name them. Indeed, they had already seen MAG teams during previous interventions in their area of responsibility. That clearly demonstrates the good climate of confidence now built up between MAG and the PNB officers after months of common efforts to decrease the risks posed by Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).
MAG Burundi Technical Operations Manager Jacques Delemarle explains basic safety measures for dealing with hand grenades and mortars to heads of police stations.
Top photo: MAG Burundi Technical Field Manager Lionel Cattaneo carries out a safety demonstration.
[Photos: MAG Burundi]
MAG is supporting the civilian disarmament campaign by collecting and destroying SALW that have been handed-over by the population to the CDCPA. Meanwhile, MAG also performs a comprehensive project to secure the Burundian Police SALW.
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For more on MAG’s Physical Security and Stockpile Management project in Burundi, please see: Historic nationwide weapons survey supports security.
21 October 2009
MAG’s work in Burundi is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Government.