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Five African states vow to control arms flow

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th May 2012 07:40 PM

Security officials from five African states have pledged to step up cooperation to control the flow of small arms after a UN-backed conference.

Security officials from five African states have pledged to step up cooperation to control the flow of small arms after a UN-backed conference.

Ministers of interior and security from Libya, Chad, Sudan and Central African Republic, as well as a provincial governor from Democratic Republic of Congo, agreed to establish a joint body to counter the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

A declaration issued late Wednesday after their two-day conference said the agreement came as part of a "strengthened cooperation and coordination effort in order to control the spread, flow, misuse and illegal circulation" of the arms within and across borders.

They urged their governments to allocate national resources for the joint body and to attract donor support.

The ministers said a lack of effective border controls has greatly contributed to the illegal proliferation of arms, which has also "been aggravated by internal political conflicts and acute poverty".

As the conference concluded, officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo said fighting between the Congolese army and mutineers, in the chronically unstable eastern province of Nord-Kivu, has forced tens of thousands of people from their homes since late April.

Thousands have taken refuge in Uganda and Rwanda, they said.

Egyptian security officials said in early May that they had seized a large weapons cache of surface-to-surface rockets and a mortar.

They said the arms were probably smuggled from Egypt's western neighbour Libya, where heavily armed rebels overthrew and later killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi last year.

Sudan has for months been battling insurgencies in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, while rebels in the Darfur region remain active nearly a decade after beginning their uprising.

Sudan and South Sudan fought along their disputed border in March and April, creating fears of wider war.
(AFP)

Five African states vow to control arms flow

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