Citation(s) from the literature library

King, Benjamin. 2014 ‘New proposed legislation: The Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Bill (2012).’ Excess Arms in South Sudan: Security Forces and Surplus Management; Issue Brief No. 6, pp. 7-8. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 April

Relevant contents

The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) is considering a more comprehensive national framework for small arms control. At the time of writing, legislation was awaiting parliamentary approval that would 'address the threats posed by illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons to stability' by controlling civilian possession and tightening controls on state-owned small arms and light weapons (GoSS, 2012, ch. 1, point 3). The Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Bill 2012 (20) (hereafter, 'the Small Arms Bill') provides a broad legislative framework on small arms that defines issues such as possession (ch. 3), licensing (ch. 9), and transfers (ch. 10). It also sets out rules for the marking (ch. 4), and collection and disposal of small arms (ch. 13)…

[T]he Small Arms Bill also stipulates that all state agencies and local governments must conduct annual 'physical stocktaking' (GoSS, 2012, ch. 5, part 1, s. 34, para. 1), which would generate a comprehensive inventory. These assessments are essential in order to identify surplus. The Small Arms Bill also obliges all state security forces to register and enter their holdings in a Central Small Arms and Light Weapons Database (ch. 5, part 1, s. 34, para. 3). The Bill stipulates that identification information should be recorded for all items,(21) although it omits two key elements—serviceability and condition are not mentioned in relation to record-keeping or stocktaking. These elements are critical to national authorities' ability to track the number of operable service items. Perhaps the Bill's most significant contribution is its reference to destroying all surpluses and items deemed obsolete (GoSS, 2012, ch. 5, part 1, s. 34, para. 7)…Should the Bill be approved, the security forces would have the legal grounds to destroy selected weapons…

The Small Arms Bill was awaiting approval at the end of 2013, and parliament may either require changes or reject it outright. If approved, the drafted Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Regulations, 2013 and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) must follow in order to render the new law operational.(22)


20) Regulations relating to the implementation of the Small Arms Bill have already been drafted. At the time of writing, the draft Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Regulations, 2013 were being reviewed by state-level committees (UNSC, 2013b, p. 12). The Regulations are meant to be consistent with the Small Arms Control Bill, 2012, as prescribed in Section 106. They establish procedures for determining surplus as well as stockpile management tasks. Since the draft document is confidential, it is not possible to analyse its contents.

21) The Bill requires the following information for small arms and light weapons in state possession: the type, action, make, model, serial number, calibre, and other 'relevant markings' such as engravings, proof marks, country identification marks, and other markings that can identify the weapon (GoSS, 2012, ch. 2, s. 7, para. (biii)).

22) Interview with a representative from the South Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control (BCSSAC), Juba, 14 February 2013.

Government of South Sudan (GoSS). 2012 (draft). 'The Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Bill, 2012'. Juba: The Laws of Southern Sudan.

ID: Q8496

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