By Yared Tsegaye
The government of Ethiopia has finalized draft proclamation to control illicit flow of arms and weapons. Minister of Defense Siraj Fegessa revealed government’s plan earlier on Wednesday that the proclamation further guides ownership and use of arms in the country. The measure follows various anti-peace activities to escalating the growing security crisis in the country by entities that are smuggling illegal weapons in to the country.
The minister said at a press conference that the new proclamation will give directives and a legal base towards the use of arms by guiding the identification of the scale of each and every firearm in the country. The minister explained tackling illegal possession and distribution of fire arms has been at the top of the priority list of the National Security Council over the past months. This comes after violence in parts of the country which caused the loss of lives and displacement of people as well as damage of properties.
“In the cover of the recent instability in parts of the country, there were issues regarding the flow of illegal-arms to intensify the problems. He also mentioned that the illegally trafficked weapons had a base for the past two months in the major road corridors in Assosa, Metemma, Togo-wuchalle, and Gambella,” said Siraj.
Accordingly Siraj said that the proclamation further aims to lay responsibility on every owner of the arms. When the proclamation becomes active, Siraj said that it evidently will support the measures to be taken to prevent illegal firearms in the country.
“With the joint efforts of the federal and regional security forces some 270 Kalashnikov rifles, 200 pistols, close to 65 thousand bullets and 1000 machine guns were confiscated while being smuggled illegally into the country to escalate the conflicts,” he said adding that the new proclamation is expected to help as an upward trajectory in regards to achieving sustainable peace.
Despite seizure of numerous illegal weapons the minister said that efforts towards tackling security issues in the country have shown positive progress. However he said security seems to have flared back up after the lifting of the 10 months long state of emergency last April.