states when it comes to the collection and marking of arms in the region. According to her, about 90 percent of arms collected in Liberia have been marked, with just 10 percent remaining.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Halima Ahmed, made the disclosure recently when she paid a courtesy call on Liberia’s Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara in Monrovia.
Mrs. Ahmed praised the Chairman of the Liberia National Small Arms Commission, Mr. James Fromayan, for the progress made by his Commission thus far.
She said her delegation was in Liberia to hold the Bi-annual Steering Committee meeting of member states on the ECOWAS arms project which, she said, is being held for the first time out of Abuja, Nigeria.
She told the Foreign Minister that while in Abuja, the Commission reached a decision to hold the Bi-annual Steering Committee’s Meeting in Monrovia to ascertain the progress the country has made regarding the collection of small arms and light weapons.
The ECOWAS Commissioner added that the Bi-annual Steering Committee Conference will also be ratifying the ECOWAS arms collection project, to be implemented by member states.
She indicated that her delegation has met with officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Liberia National Police, National Defense Ministry, and other Security agencies and held discussions on the arm collection project.
“What we have seen in Liberia, so far, is encouraging and we want to congratulate the Government and people of Liberia, for the giant steps taken. We still have a lot to do in terms of the implementation,” she said.
Also speaking during the meeting, ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia Babatunde Ajisomo informed the Foreign Minister that the Liberian National Small Arms Commission is “doing very well” with the implementation.
Ambassador Ajisomo also paid special tributes to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, UNDP and the EU for their support adding that they are very enthusiastic about this process and that they are also working with the small arms commission to ensure these projects are fully implemented.
In brief remarks, the Chairman of the National Small Arms Commission James Fromayan thanked Foreign Minister Kamara who, he noted, was “very supportive” of the Commission’s initiatives while serving as Liberia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York.
He praised the police and other security agecies for the collaboration and cooperation and added that the issue of small arms cannot be overlooked during the electioneering process, which is associated with tensions.
For her part, Foreign Minister Kamara told the ECOWAS delegation that she was encouraged by the discussions and progress that has been made by the small arms commission.