Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pistols, Machine Guns, And RPGs ..... Africa's Weapons Of Mass Destruction

At UN, Nigeria Stresses Dangers Posed By African ‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ -- U.N. News Centre

29 September 2008 – Africa has been devastated by conflicts perpetuated by small arms and light weapons, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today, calling for a global pact to rid the continent of the scourge.

“Because of their lethality and ready deployment, they may be described as Africa’s experience of weapons of mass destruction,” Ojo Maduekwe said at United Nations Headquarters.

Nigeria, he said, believes the best and most effective way to prevent, combat and eradicate the “illicit and deadly trade” is through a legally binding international agreement, coupled with the political will of all States to curb the uncontrolled proliferation of these weapons.

“There is need, therefore, for urgent action to criminalize oil bunkering, the sale of oil so acquired and the use of its proceeds to fuel new crisis situations in Africa, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, through the proliferation of small arms and light weapons,” the Minister said.

The same zeal applied to addressing the issue of “blood diamonds” must now be harnessed to address the problem of “blood oil” that threatens the Gulf, he added.

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My Comment: In my life time millions in Africa have died from small arms fire, and the wounds that come from the bullets fired by these weapons. These totals do not include the destruction of infrastructure, health and medical services, and the deprivation of food and hunger brought about by these conflicts.

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