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CSO Coalition Calls for Compliance With ATT
Date Uploaded: Jul 24, 2016

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CSO Coalition Calls for Compliance With ATT

MONROVIA, July 22 (LINA)-The Liberia Action Network on Small Arms (LANSA) has called on the Liberian Government to comply with the global arms monitoring and regulation law and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

LANSA made the call against the background that even though the ATT was ratified by the 53rd National Legislature in 2013,  many of its provisions are not captured in the Liberia Fire Arms and Ammunition Act recently passed by both Houses of the National Legislature.

 In a press release issued Friday as part of the  ongoing ATT awareness and engagement with the Legislators, the Facilitator of the process, Mr. T. Nicholas Faryombo, Jr., said Liberia’s compliance with the ATT is key to meeting international benchmarks on gun control.

Mr. Faryombo said Liberia was one of the countries that began pushing for the ATT to come into force and as such, she made its intention of living up to the provisions clear by signing and ratifying it.

Commenting on the reason for Liberia’s noncompliance since the ATT was ratified before the passage of the Fire Arms Act, Mr. Faryombo said it might have been an oversight by the drafters and all key players who might not have read the local instrument before its passage because he added, the ATT was not recognized by key stakeholders including CSOs, the Legislature, the Government’s Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA) among others, before the new Fire Arms Law of Liberia.

Besides, he said, the ATT is not popular in Liberia, indicating that a recent assessment report submitted to the government of Liberia by LiNCSA indicates that knowledge of the ATT in Liberia is very little.

The Liberian advocate for a gun-free society noted that many of the stakeholders in the society, including key government officials, have little or no knowledge of the ATT and to some extent, he added, the position of Liberia with the instrument is not known by those individuals and the larger public.

He said: “if we align with international humanitarian laws like the issue of gun control, future violators will be brought to international justice, and made reference to former warlords of Liberia including Tom Woewiyu and Charles Taylor who are now under such
circumstances.

“This is the reason we as CSOs, particularly CEDE, under the umbrella of LANSA are creating awareness using radios, newspapers, Hatyye Centers and other public places to popularize the ATT. And besides, we are also holding discussions with the two House Committees on Security, Defense and Internal Affairs of the National Legislature on how we all can better understand the ATT and its components and seek a way forward for Liberia’s compliance,” Mr. Faryombo said.

He commended the government through LiNCSA and the National Legislature for the passage of the Fire Arms Act, and called on the President to Sign the document to complete its legality.

He also recognized and thanked the effort and support by Safer World and the Norwegian Government to Liberia, especially to the CSOs in helping to create public awareness on the ATT.
LINA/RD/PR/TSS

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