By: Eba Kandovazu
The police at Erongo destroyed 5 532 firearms and 209 933 ammunition at Walvis Bay last week.
Safety minister Albert Kawana said that most of the guns were court exhibits captured from criminals who participated in such crimes as armed robberies.
Kawana also said the firearms, ammunition, and related materials were surrendered during Amnesty Month declared last year.
The minister said the last time Namibia witnessed a similar activity of this nature was in 2007 when more than 9 000 firearms were destroyed.
Kawana applauded the security clusters for their commitment to the nation’s protection by ensuring that illegal firearms, ammunition, and related materials are removed from the hands of criminals.
“The commitment of our men and women in uniform to the safety and security of our nation is highly commended. Against this background, they deserve a conducive working environment, particularly those men and women in uniform below the rank of Chief Inspector. This is an urgent matter which needs an urgent solution. Allow me to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude to the community members who voluntarily surrendered their firearms, ammunition and related materials,” Kawana added.
He also said Namibia remains committed to achieving the objectives of international instruments, which he says is evident in the adoption of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and the UN Firearms Protocol.
“In this regard, member states have vowed to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes sustainable development goal number 16. This goal calls on all States to take significant steps to reduce all forms of violence and related deaths within their countries,” the minister stressed.
According to Kawana, illicit small arms and light weapons continue to pose a serious threat to Africa’s peace and security, adding that criminals are creating new trafficking channels as the security sector in the majority of countries continues to take measures to combat the movement of illicit small arms and light weapons.
He said small arms and light weapons continue to be used as weapons of choice for criminals when they infringe the human rights of law-abiding citizens and commit crimes such as murder, GBV and armed robberies.