All small weapons marked to make them traceable


07-November-2011

Weapons being marked at the police support wing at Petit Paris

This came to light recently at the Police Academy during a course organised by Seychelles and the Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (Recsa), where the organisation also launched Recsa’s Best Practice Guideline Publication on Practical Disarmament of Small Arms programme.

The marking of weapons is also being done in other Recsa countries where the programme is being launched.
These are Burundi, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Those who witnessed the launch and followed the course came from the National Drugs Enforcement Agency, the Criminal Investigations Department, Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority security, customs, the Seychelles Red Cross and the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF).

Assistant Superintendent Roy Banane told Nation that marking of the weapons started last year and was completed in August this year.

He said the police have one machine to mark – using a computerised system – and the SPDF have another, both given by Recsa.
“If there is an incident involving any of the indelibly marked weapons, investigators would know where it came from,” he said.

In Seychelles, no civilians, and only the military and some sections of the police are allowed to carry arms.

Seychelles’ Recsa National Focal Point Coordinator is police commissioner Ernest Quatre, but he was not at the ceremony as he is attending an Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.

On his behalf, police spokesperson Jean Toussaint thanked Recsa – represented at the launch by Angela Wadeyua and William Oduk – for the marking machines.

He noted that although Seychelles does not have a problem of people illegally holding arms, many of the pirates caught in our waters have been carrying “small arms like AK 47 and Manpads”.

The delegates in a souvenir picture with the Recsa representatives (Photo by GT)

Manpads or Man-portable are air defence systems which are carried on the shoulder to launch surface-to-air missiles.
The missiles are guided weapons and are a threat to low-flying aircraft, especially helicopters.

The missiles they launch are about 180 cm long and weigh about 18 kg and can hit targets six kilometres away, so aircraft flying above 6,000 metres are relatively safe from them.

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