21 February 2010

Uganda: 66,000 Small Arms Destroyed

Kampala — THE Uganda National Focal Point (NFP) on small arms and light weapons has destroyed ammunition in an effort to combat the increase of small arms in the country.

Among those destroyed were 300 explosives, 800 grenade canisters, 38 boxes of gun powder, 15 boxes of propellant charges, 100 tear gas canisters, 4,000 small ammunitions and 1,500 artillery rounds, some dating back to 1963.

The arms were destroyed recently at Bukasa, Bweyogerere by the Police bomb squad.

The exercise comes four months after 3,500 firearms were destroyed.

The national coordinator, Ahmed Wafuba, said although the ammunition was outdated, it still posed a danger to the public.

"Ammunitions are a major part of a weapon and if left unchecked, become a nuisance to society. Most of them, especially the tear gas grenades had been on the shelves for a long time," he noted.

Wafula said the increase of ammunitions was not only a problem in Uganda but the entire region.

Wafuba said although most of the ammunition looked new, they had lost their effectiveness and could pose a danger to the public.

He added that more ammunition would be destroyed under the firearms reduction programme.

The exercise brings the number of firearms destroyed in the last three years to over 66,000.

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