Somalia

UNDP partnership for the safe and secure control of police weapons in Somalia

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The Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) and UNDP country office in Somalia have engaged local police forces in a initiative to increase the safety and security of police weapon storage. The pilot initiative will train police armorers in basic safety and control procedures and provide them with five newly rehabilitated station armories.
One of the world's poorest and least developed countries, Somalia has few resources and is prone to drought. Moreover, much of the economy has been devastated by civil war since 1991.Ongoing civil disturbances and clan rivalries have also interfered with any broad-based economic development.

The prevalent possession and use of small arms and light weapons in Somalia is generally recognized as a significant destabilizing condition, particularly for a post-conflict society still grappling with enduring violent social and community tensions. Despite the growing capacity and efforts of local authorities, needless accidents and high levels of gun-based violence still prevail in Somalia.

This initiative is part of the wider UNDP Somalia Rule of Law and Security Programme, a programme involving police, judiciary, small arms, and human rights capacity development assistance across Somalia. Local authorities, such as the Somaliland Police, have decided to develop better controls on the possession of weapons and UNDP will be supporting these efforts through the global UNDP "Weapons Management and Destruction Assistance Project".

The pilot police armories, based in and around Hergeisa, will be provided basic renovation assistance, including paint and masonry repair. Assistance will continue with the installation of access control cages, newly fitted steel security doors and locks, and the re-enforcement of windows with wire meshing. New weapon and racks with security chains will also be provided to safely stow various weapons.

Simultaneously, UNDP is developing training modules with the local armorers, and developing new armory procedures and record-keeping with the Somaliland police authorities.

Previously, Somaliland police armories were inadequately secured, with most not meeting basic safety and control standards. The armories posed a significant injury risk to police officers and no accountability existed to prevent possible weapons leakage to the general public.

UNDP is currently developing a longer-term programme of assistance with authorities in Somalia for comprehensive legislative, registration, and weapons control and armed violence reduction measures.

For further information, please contact Susana Garcia, susana.garcia@undp.org, BCPR small arms and demobilization unit or Tala Dowlatshahi,tala.dowlatshahi@undp.org, Public Information Specialist.