African Union: Lomé hosts Amnesty Month in Africa, for the first time

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 02:56
African Union: Lomé hosts Amnesty Month in Africa, for the first time

(Togo First) - The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) began Amnesty Month in Africa (AMA) on Monday 5 September 2022 in Lomé. At this edition, which is part of the "Silencing the Guns in Africa" initiative, experts from the Council Member States will federate their efforts to end the circulation of small arms in Africa by 2030.

Specifically, the initiative aims to sensitize and encourage civilians to voluntarily, and anonymously, hand over illicit weapons they have, without risking prosecution. 

"It also aims to promote Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programs, as well as to encourage the participation of African civil society, including youth and women, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector, and the media," the organizers said. The move “will, among others, foster the surrender of illicit firearms by civilians during Africa Amnesty Month,” said Amma Twum-Amoah, president of the PSC.

This is the first time that the AMA is held outside Addis Ababa, the AU’s base. 

According to the AU, more than 40 million illicit weapons are still circulating in Africa, causing more than 500,000 deaths each year.

On the day the AMA was launched in Lomé, Togolese authorities destroyed more than 2,000 illicit weapons of various calibers that had been seized in the country.

Esaïe Edoh

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