A local civil society group, Liberia Action Network on Small Arms (LANSA) is calling on the Government of Liberia to declare support for the non – use of explosive weapons in civilian – populated areas.
“Even though Liberia is not at war, it is necessary for the Country to pledge support for the campaign. In time of peace, prepare for war” LANSA Chairman Mr. Michael S. Yorwah said Saturday 24 March in Monrovia.
His call comes at a time African States are seeking the support of Countries for the non – use of explosive weapons on the continent, due to the threats they pose to civilians and how they undermine development plans.
LANSA works for the reduction of small arms and light weapons while promoting advocacy that discourages the use of small arms. Mr. Yorwah says explosive weapons have caused a lot of harm to Liberia especially during the 14 years of civil unrest here.
According to him, due to the use of explosive weapons during the civil war, the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms recently discovered alleged mass unexplored RPG rockets in Gbarpolu County.
He fears that the reported unexplored rocket could have damaged lives and properties if it were not uncovered.Representatives of 19 African countries, including Liberia, the UN office on Humanitarian Affairs, the International Network on Explosive Weapons and other civil society organizations in 2017 met in Mozambique and adopted a statement known as the Maputo Communiqué to solicit sister countries to stop using explosive weapons in civilians areas.
The communiqué said explosive weapons used in populated areas are causing deaths, injuries and traumas to civilian victims and damage essential infrastructure.
It further noted that such actions also forced displacement that leave explosive remnants of war thereby posing threat in the long term developmental plans.
He adds that it disrupts socio-economic activities and potentially compromise human security. Mr. Yorwah believes that the involvement of African States and civil society can play a pivotal role in enhancing the protection of civilians from the harm caused by explosive weapons in a time when armed conflicts are increasingly fought in populated areas.
He concludes that his organization will embark of advocacies, awareness and lobbying with the Legislature to ensure Liberia supports the campaign.–Press release