fIn a move to tackle illicit trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and bolster cross-border cooperation in West Africa, the European Union (EU) has allocated €24.4 million.

EU Offers €24.4m To Combat Small Arms Trafficking In West Africa

6 months ago
1 min read

In a move to tackle illicit trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and bolster cross-border cooperation in West Africa, the European Union (EU) has allocated €24.4 million.

Enobong Moma, the EU Programme Manager for Organised Crime West Africa Response to Trafficking, unveiled this financial support during a roundtable discussion on SALW control in Nigeria held in Abuja.

During the discussion themed “Mapping the Landscape of SALW Proliferation in Nigeria: Gaps and Opportunities,” Moma stressed the significance of this funding in broader regional efforts to combat organized crime and human trafficking.

She highlighted the role of such funding in supporting projects aimed at eradicating illicit small arms and light weapons, thereby fostering development in affected countries and communities.

“In 2019, the pilot phase paved the way for the ongoing Organized Crime West Africa Response to Trafficking (OCWAR-T) programme. With a budget of EUR 24.4 million, this initiative is part of a regional endeavor to combat organized crime and trafficking in West Africa,” Moma declared.

She outlined the program’s objectives, including reducing SALW trafficking at the border community level, enhancing cross-border cooperation, and building the capacity of national actors in SALW control.

Moma emphasized the need to fortify operational capacities in small arms control centers to curtail cross-border violence and reduce weapon availability in communities. She highlighted the success stories as evidence of a fruitful partnership between the EU, ECOWAS Commission, development partners, and government agencies.

Dr. Sani Adamu, head of the ECOWAS Peace Support Operation, applauded Nigeria’s tangible commitment to implementing crucial provisions outlined in the ECOWAS policy on arms transfer.

He noted Nigeria’s comprehensive institutionalization of the end-user certification process for arms importation within the ECOWAS subregion. However, he stressed the need for robust legislative and implementation arrangements to further fortify these efforts
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This commitment by the EU reflects a concerted effort to address a pressing issue affecting stability and security in West Africa, underscoring the importance of collaboration and sustained investment in combating illicit arms trafficking.


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