29 June 2009

Cameroon: Combating Gun Related Violence

All communities in Cameroon have been urged to join in the world wide fight against the use of guns to perpetrate acts of violence in the society.

Granting a press briefing in Yaounde recently on the dangers of the gun in most communities, as part of activities of the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, the Executive director of the Cameroon Youths for Peace (CAMYOSFOP), Eugine Ngalim Nyuydine recalled the United Nations efforts to stop Small Arms and Light weapons (SALW).

Taking questions from journalists on the week long activities against gun violence, he said they were out "to raise awareness, campaign for better gun laws and push for stronger regulation of the global arms trade." Ngalim noted there will be a particular focus this year on the mobilisation of civil society to call on their governments to support a strong Arms Trade Treaty in the discussions at the United Nations in July.

The Disarming Domestic Violence campaign was presented to journalists as another major theme of this year's week of action. It was equally disclosed that the campaign was also launched in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Namibia, Nepal, Serbia, Portugal and Uganda with events such a bicycle rides, marches and press conferences.

The campaign is said to be the first at the international level aimed at protecting women from gun violence in the home by ensuring that people with a history of domestic abuse are denied access to firearms, or have their licenses revoked.

First launched in 2001, the Global Week of Action has grown to be the largest coordinated gun violence prevention event in the world.

The Yaounde press conference, organised by CAMYOSFOP, took place at the conference hall of PASOC (Programme D'Appui a la Structuration de la Société Civil). It was introduced by Bari Fanso, Public Relations Officer for CAMYOSFOP. Patience Elango, Press and Information Secretary for CAMYOSFOP read the gropu's statement against gun violence before the questions answer session followed. Eugine Ngali m Nyuydine, Executive Director of CAMYOSFOP, IANSA Focal Point for Cameroon and member of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF) took questions from the reporters present.

For his part, Martin Tsounkeu, General Representative of the Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN) and a member of the Cameroon Action Network on Small Arms (CANSA) enlightened the journalists on the link between, youth unemployment, development and the illicit proliferation and misuse of small arms. An effective Arms Trade Treaty will be able to regulate the arms sector and significantly contribute to peace, security and development, he argued.

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