Regional Project on Small Arms and Light Weapons

About the project

.The systematic misuse of firearms has led to the death of 250 000 people in the wars in Liberia between December 1989 and august 2003

The project is an integral component of the programme "European Union Support to the ECOWAS Peace, Security and Stability mandate (EU-ECOWAS PSS)", implemented 2013-2019, which seeks to support ECOWAS in its capacity to effectively address factors of instability and reinforce a proactive approach to peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution in West Africa.

Specifically the ECOWAS-EU Small Arms Project seeks to advance implementation of the component "Practical Disarmament" of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) in Member-States.  This pilot project is focused on two clusters covering six (6) countries, namely Northern Niger - Mali; (Sahel) and (Mano River Union) - (West of Cote d’Ivoire; Guinée Forestière; East of Liberia; North-East of Sierra Leone).

Drawing on UNDP’s capacity in the area of SALW, the ECOWAS and the EU identified UNDP as a partner to provide project implementation support. The project aims at drawing on UNDP’s focal points in the respective Country Offices (COs) to coordinate implementation in close collaboration with National Commission of Small Arms (NATCOMS) of the pilot countries and selected communities under the programme.

Key results so far

  1. Conflict communities in Cote D’ivoire have been brought together in eight (8) years to engage in joint social activity such as a football match as a result of the sensitization strategy of the project.
  2. Effective sensitization has resulted in the voluntary handing over and collection of weapons within the first six months of implementation in Danane, Toulepleu and Ouaninou, Western Part of Cote d’Ivoire.
  3. High level sensitizations conducted has resulted in a significant South-South cooperation arrangement between Niger and Mali NATCOM – with a focus on sensitization of border communities (community disarmament).
  4. The community entry and approach has deepened the confidence of the border communities in Grand Gedeh and Maryland.

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