Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister for Interior, has said the proliferation of small arms, particularly, in wrong and unauthorised hands could undermine the peace being enjoyed by the nation.

He said it is important that Ghanaians did not take the peace for granted because political stability and accelerated socio-economic development were contingent on a peaceful environment.

Mr Dery was speaking at the Sixth Weapon Destruction exercise, undertaken by the National Commission on Small arms and Light Weapons, in collaboration with the security agencies, on Wednesday, in Accra.

The exercise was to destroy more than 2,700 illicit small arms seized at crime scenes and confiscated by the Law Courts.

This is to prevent them from being recycled into society and also to communicate the abhorrence of illicitly holding small arms to Ghanaians.

“The proliferation of illicit small arms has disturbed the political stability and democracy of some of our sister countries,” he stated.

“The safety, security and human rights of thousands of people have been impacted negatively, with socio-economic disruption resulting in human suffering and hardship.”

Mr Dery said the illicit arms were retrieved from criminals and those who had abused the terms of their small arms licenses and who possessed them without authority through the collective efforts of the security agencies.

He stated that weapon collection and destruction were part of the strategies for small arms control and management in society.

The Police, based on intelligence, retrieves and seizes illicit arms periodically through cordon and search and special operations.

Mr Dery said the devastating and unacceptable impact of the proliferation of illicit arms and light weapons was globally acknowledged, while the West African Region had had an unfair share of its menace.

The sector Minister, however, said the Government intended to make the country peaceful, safe and secure to promote development, make it an investment destination and attract direct foreign direct investment.

He noted that most civilians who possessed registered small arms had expired licenses; urging them to re

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