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Caribbean getting help with weapons management

Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee makes a point during the meeting with the officials of United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Guyana is among several Caribbean countries being offered help to dispose of obsolete firearms and munitions and secure stockpiles in keeping with international standards, officials said at the weekend.

The assistance, which could include laws and regulations, is available from the United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).

UNILIREC’s Senior Programme Officer of the Public Security Programme, Juliet Solomon said her mission conducted a needs assessment.

“This is a regional assistance package and we have done it across the board, Guyana is one of the latest countries. We are looking to assess what areas of assistance we can provide,’ she was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA). She is accompanied by UNILIREC’s Technical Advisor, Stockpile Management and Weapons Destruction, UNILIREC, Ian Ruddock.

Guyanese soldiers and police are expected to participate in courses on ballistics that would focus on unassembled firearm components

“We have been doing some training in forensic ballistics capacity building. We are about to launch a regional armory management training course, in Trinidad and Tobago, but which will have a regional component where  people will be trained to recognize different part of weapons.

The two UNILIREC officials met with a number of Guyanese stakeholders including Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee who promised to examine a report from the UN agency when it is submitted to government in another three weeks.

“Based on that report, we are expecting some recommendations which the Government of Guyana will study with a view to determining the extent to which we will implement those recommendations,” he stated.

Pointing out that there are no sanctions involved if Guyana does not implement the UNILIREC recommendations, he explained however, “in the context of best practices and your treaty obligations you are expected to do your best to adhere to these principles to which you have signed on.”

The UNILIREC team inspected armories at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Prison Service and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

International standard padlocks, Solomon said, could be provided to armories to avoid weapons and ammunition theft. e use value ones are easier accessible in any eventuality and also for other reasons as well such as safety and security and avoiding of combustion he explained further.