DRC Validates its National Action Plan for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons
On October 7, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo approved its five-year national action plan 2024-2028 for the control of small arms and light weapons.
The National Commission for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (CNC-ALPC), technically supported by MONUSCO anti-mine service (UNMAS) throughout the process, contributed significantly to the preparation of this national consensus strategy aimed at combating illicit circulation of the small arms and light weapons.
Jean-Claude Molipe Mandongo, representing the Deputy Prime Minister for Interior, “this action plan is a reference tool for all those who wish to promote lasting peace in our country”.
Since its establishment in 2008, the National Commission for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons has developed three national plans: the first for the period 2012-2016, the second for 2018-2022, and the third for 2024-2028.
Regarding the 2024-2028 five-year plan, CNC permanent secretary, Landry Bisidi Tshilombo, is satisfied with the work accomplished in the production of this document which will serve as a reference document in the management of the Congolese government's weapons. “The most remarkable action is the marking of weapons which consists in giving a specific identity to the weapon. This helps ensure that a weapon can be easily traced even in the event of loss or crime. Today, DRC government is capable of identifying and tracing a weapon thanks to this weapons marking operation,” he said.
The next action will be to establish a progress report to assess the effectiveness of the actions undertaken. A report will be prepared for effective actions, while work will be carried out to determine the reasons for the ineffectiveness of other actions, and corrective measures will be proposed at an inter-ministerial meeting. The Ministers of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Defense will then decide on this matter.
MONUSCO, through its anti-mine section UNMAS, supports the government in the fight against the illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons. In this struggle, there are two distinct aspects. The first is the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement of Foreign Armed Groups (DDRRR), which aims to remove weapons from the hands of members of armed groups and help them reintegrate into
civilian life: a crucial step to combat the illegal circulation of small arms and light weapons in the DRC.
The second aspect concerns state weapons, to help the latter prevent these weapons from continuing to fuel the mafia circuits and thus contribute to reducing the number of weapons in circulation.
Grégoire de Nantes, head of the light and small arms project of the anti-mine service (UNMAS), for his part, said “a great relief to have achieved the objective within a reasonable time frame and a great hope to be able to measure something that will allow us to move forward.” He went on to say: “We look forward to implementing these actions and working closely with all the stakeholders to achieve our common goals,” he said.
Landry Bisidi Tshilombo as far as he is concerned, thanked MONUSCO (UNMAS) - “an always available partner” - which supports the government in various areas. Indeed, UNMAS supports the government, among other things, in training specialized police units (armourers) on issues of storage and management of armories...
For example, in Beni, North Kivu where improvised bomb attacks were recorded a few months ago, UNMAS trained police officers in how to detect a suspicious device, secure a crime scene, detect a citizen who is radicalized to become a potential bomber in the community. In Beni, even the population was sensitized on attacks-related security issues.
By implementing this action plan, MONUSCO and the Congolese government hope to contribute to building a more secure future, in respect of the national security, as well as to the promotion of lasting peace.