MAG has expanded programmes in our West Africa region to a new country, launching a weapons destruction campaign in October in Liberia.
The past decade has seen an increase in the intensity and impact of conflict and violence on civilians globally. The uncontrolled spread and availability of small arms (guns) and munitions prolongs conflict and increases this impact. Small arms and ammunition are regularly stolen and trafficked across porous borders and traded on the illicit market, fuelling more armed violence against civilians. Weapons and ammunition are often stored in or near built-up areas. If there is an unplanned explosion the consequences can be devastating, causing death and injury, as well as destroying homes, schools and community infrastructure.
Our work in the area of weapons and ammunition management (WAM) to date has focussed on improving the quality of storage facilities and destroying obsolete weapons and ammunition, in order to prevent accidents and harm. It also supports sustainable development and enables a greater opportunity for sustainable peace.
With support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency funds, we are now conducting WAM activities in Liberia. After Liberia’s NATCOM requested MAG’s support at ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) in September for weapons-cutting activities, MAG deployed a technical team to initiate activities in-country, including training, assessments, and a workshop for the marking and destruction of weapons.
On October 27, an event for Amnesty Day was marked by the public launch of the weapons destruction campaign. Representatives from the Swedish Embassy, the UN and other partners witnessed the destruction of weapons and rounds of small arms ammunition, signifying the start of MAG operations in the country.
We look forward to expanding our work in Liberia.
Photos, left to right: MAG, in joint collaboration with the Liberia of National Commission on Arms, is destroying collected, seized and obsolete weapons; Nicole Ntagabo, MAG's Regional Programmes Manager addresses the Amnesty Day Event in Liberia.
Find out more about our work on weapons and ammunition management here.