Angola

Over 80,000 firearms collected in three years

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Lubango – At least 80,313 firearms of various calibres were collected by organs of Defence, Security and Internal Order, in three years, as part of the disarmament process of citizens in illegal possession of weapons which runs throughout the country, said Saturday at Lubango, Huila, the Home Affairs minister, Sebastião Martins.

The Cabinet official was speaking at the main event commemorating the third anniversary of the disarmament process,held under the slogan "Resisting to surrendering of weapon is resisting to the Peace."

Sebastiao Martins, who also chairs the National Commission on Disarmament, said that from the collected material were destroyed 37,890 weapons, 43,557 porters, 126,219 explosive devices and 336,229 ammunitions.

He added that during this period, through Law and coercive way, there were filed 455 cases, 185 were prosecuted, 174 sentenced to prison terms ranging from three months to two years imprisonment and acquitted 25,256 at the preparatory investigation stage.

For the minister, the thousands of firearms already collected by agencies of Defence, Internal Order and Security have come to ease, to some extent, tension and restlessness, thus creating a better environment and greater confidence and sense of security among citizens.

However, he noted, still remain a reasonable dose of concern for the weapons, even outside the control of the organs devoted to that purpose, is prone to be used in criminal acts.

"We think now is the right time to reflect on the illegal possession of firearms and their consequences," the minister said while speaking at the Pavilion of Nossa Senhora do Monte, in Lubango, before thousands of people.

To him, mere possession of a weapon influences tolerance, conflict, insecurity and turmoil, strengthening the wave of violence and crime, tranquillity and safety of citizens, as well as harmony and multifaceted development of society, even if it affects the peace.