The commissioner of the Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Animation has urged all citizens to greatly be involved in the fight against illegal possession of small arms in the country.

He highlighted the pressing issue of weapon proliferation within the country due to different reasons adding that citizens has a critical role of cooperation with the commission in combating this threat to national security.

The Commissioner revealed that the change in name of the commission from the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms to the Sierra Leone Commission on Arms and Animation enacted through parliamentary legislation, signifies an expansion of the commission’s scope beyond controlling small arms to encompassing larger weaponry as well.

He expressed commitment to the mandate delegated by the Government of Sierra Leone to the commission, adding that the responsibility to address illegal weapons possession and ensure proper management of arms lies in the hands of key security institutions, namely the Sierra Leone Police Force and the Sierra Leone Armed Forces.

The Commissioner stressed that the landscape of weapon ownership has evolved, with non- state actors now possessing weapons to threaten public safety and to counter this threat, he called upon all Sierra Leoneans to actively participate in identifying and reporting individuals illegally possessing weapons. In a move towards international compliance, the Commissioner disclosed that the Parliament of Sierra Leone had legislated on April 24, 2023, for the commission to fully adhere to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

This treaty extends the commission’s jurisdiction to cover conventional weapons including aircraft, naval vessels, and other significant armaments. Concluding his address, Commissioner Binneh urged Sierra Leoneans to contribute to the preservation of peace and security in the country, highlighting the collective responsibility in safeguarding against illegal weapon possession.