British envoy urges Nigeria to implement UN arms treaty

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Ambassador Simon Shecliff, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, has advised the Nigerian government not to delay the implementation of the United Nations arms trade treaty.

He said the advice became necessary in order to mop up the small arms and light weapons that have enhanced the activities of insurgents in different parts of the country.

He noted that although, Nigeria had signed and ratified the treaty at the international level, there was still the need to domesticate it especially in view of the country’s security situation.

The Ambassador made the call in a conference organised by the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA).

Also speaking on the matter, Mr Bajfour Amos, the President of WAANSA, asked Nigeria to take the concrete step towards controlling the irresponsible transfer of weapons within and across countries in the region.

The conference was aimed at addressing the coordinated regulation of the trade and transfer of small arms and light weapons within Nigeria and across its borders.

With the security situation in Nigeria, discussions were centered around the signing and implementation of the United Nations arms treaty to help the Federal Government of Nigeria keep a tighter tab on the proliferation of light weapons.

The arms trade treaty is the first legally binding document to regulate the trade and transfer of arms across the world.

The body said it took about seven years to draw up the treaty which has so far been ratified by 63 member States of the United Nations.

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Nigeria is at present battling insurgents in the north-east and so far, the military had reported the recovery of different kinds of weapons in the counter-insurgency operations.

Such proliferation and security threat are what the ratification and domestication of this arms treaty is set to check.

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