Citation(s) from the literature library

Gonzales, Gustavo K, Danae Pauli and Martina Bacigalupo. 2010 ‘Small Arms Control.’ Burundi Report: 2008 Towards 2010, pp. 20-21. Geneva: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 1 August

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Small Arms Control

Controlling the circulation and proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) is an essential part of curbing violence and rebuilding a safe environment. Burundi, with almost a third of its border a short distance from the shores of the Democratic Republic of Congo across Lake Tanganyika, is particularly vulnerable to the proliferation and circulation of illegal arms among civilians. In 2008 alone, more than 1,500 incidences involving arms and explosives occurred across the country, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths and more than 1,200 injuries. Reducing the number of civilian-owned small arms is an obvious and important focus area in a post-conflict context such as that of Burundi, directly impacting personal security.

UNDP, with support from Switzerland, France, USA, the Peacebuilding Fund and the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), established a Small Arms Programme in 2007 as part of BINUB's broader Security Sector Reform strategy, to support the Government in reducing violence. In close partnership with the National Commission for Civilian Disarmament and Prevention of Weapons Proliferation (CDCPA), UNDP helped establish a National Observatory of Armed Violence that has monitored the incidences of armed violence across the country since 2008. With UNDP's assistance, the Government was able to establish a computer center at the Army's Logistical Brigade in 2009 with trained operators to tag, register and track SALWs. Between 2008 and 2009, UNDP also facilitated the establishment of a national explosives destruction site and a weapons destruction workshop with trained personnel, at the Logistics Base of the National Defense Force in Bujumbura. In the 2008 calendar year alone, a total of 5,925 documented SALWs were destroyed.

After a public media campaign developed with the CDCPA and carried out in early 2009 in Bujumbura, UNDP supported the Commission to carry out a voluntary disarmament campaign across the nation.

With help from the Peacebuilding fund, during an eight-day period in October across 138 posts in all 17 provinces, UNDP supported the CDCPA to collect:

- 160,657 munitions (all kinds)
- 12,820 grenades
- 2,186 assault weapons
- 3 89 handguns
- 540 bombs
- 38 mines
- 19 multi-person weapons (requiring more than one person to operate)

[BINUB = United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi; UNDP = United Nations Dvelopment Programme]

ID: Q5096

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