Zambia support AU Amnesty for the surrender of illegal weapons-Kampyongo

By Staff Reporter

Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says Zambia is committed to supporting the AU amnesty month for the surrender of illegal weapons.

Kampyongo made this disclosure over the weekend in Addis Ababa when he transited from Seychelles where he attended an Eastern and Southern Africa Anti Money Laundering Ministers Conference.

“Government is committed to supporting the AU Amnesty month for the surrender of illegal weapons,” said Kampyongo

He said Zambia would kickstart the voluntary surrender of Arms next week.

’’We are promoting and organizing initiatives for the voluntary surrender of illicit weapons in civilian possession on conditions of anonymity and immunity from prosecution. We are equally developing appropriate evaluation frameworks for assessing the effectiveness of these initiatives at varying stages of implementation of Africa Amnesty month,” said Kampyongo

He emphasized that the illicit flow of arms, particularly small arms and light weapons to non-state actors contributed significantly towards exacerbating insecurity and violence in various parts of Africa, thereby undermining social cohesion, public security, socio-economic development and the effective functioning of state institutions.

Kampyongo has since called on the media to play a positive role in publicizing and raising public awareness on the observance of the Africa Amnesty month.

’’We are happy that the African Union has committed 30,000 dollars for holding two workshops for the media and defence and security personnel in order to increase awareness and sensitization on the Amnesty month,” he said

The 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, held on 3-4 July 2017 in Addis Ababa, declared the month of September of each year, till 2020, as “Africa Amnesty Month” for the surrender and collection of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW).