Mines Advisory Group (MAG) is currently in town to train 10 security personnel, five each from the military and police on how to use the equipment to destroy the stockpile of 4,767 weapons at the Ordinace in Murray Town Barracks under Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA).
In his remarks, the Senior Technical Adviser, Daniel Radelinghuys said he has been in this field for 35 years and they are happy to be in Sierra Leone to help in the process of destroying such huge piles of unserveable weapons.
Mr Radelinghuys said they are in town to make sure that these personnel receive the correct training so that they will perform the duty because keeping these weapons lying around will not be safe for the population.
He thanked the officers of the military and staff of Small Arms commission for giving them the opportunity to come and teach them how to use this equipment. He said he is with the technical field manager, Ernest Woest, who he said will conduct the training and teach them how to use the equipment. Ernest Woest, he said, has 35 years of experience in keeping people safe in MAG.
In his address to the trainees, Commissioner of the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA), Rtd. Brig. Modibo Lymon said this is not the first time MAG has flown to Sierra Leone to assist the commission fulfill its mandate. He said a two-man technical team was here in September 2012 to assist in the destruction of over 4,767 weapons in Makeni.
“Equipping our military and police personnel with the knowledge and skill to destroy weapons does not address all the present physical security and stockpile management needs of our military and police.”
Commissioner Lymon said MAG is not only going to equip the trainees with expertise, but they will also leave behind all the equipment they have brought with them to Small Arms so that these 10 personnel will carry out this work in future with ease and efficiency.
“The report on the assessment of our armouries carried out by MAG last October revealed the desperate state of these armouries. Some require complete overhauling, others need to be relocated in new ideal locations, away from built up and densely populated areas. Our personnel require professional training in the proper management of these armouries such as record keeping and tracing.”
Commissioner Lymon said the training of the 10 personnel by MAG in weapons destruction, which will be immediately followed by the destruction of 4,767 unserviceable weapons belonging to the two forces, is a key milestone in the Commission’s effort to discharge its mandate which is clearly spelt out in the Arms and Ammunition Act No. 9 of 2012.
Rtd. Brg. Lymon said Section 10 sub-section 2 states that ‘All small arms and light weapons so collected under subsection 1 shall be registered and securely stored or destroyed. “This is not the first time MAG has flown to Sierra Leone to assist the Commission fulfill its mandate.
The Small Arms Commissioner expressed his profound thanks and appreciation to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the Sierra Leone Police and the Office of the National Security for the high level of cooperation they have given his commission since the commencement of the implementation of this very important project.
“We hope this synergy between the Commission and these key security institutions will continue as we move from one segment of the project implementation to the next. After the training, the 4,767 weapons will be destoyed as the entire program will last for five days.