To challenge the increasing proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Africa, and to find effective ways to deter this trend, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will hold a consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to strategise common priorities and actions to combat the proliferation of arms in the region.
Organized by the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), the consultation will take place from 22 to 25 November 2012 and is a space for dialogue among the WCC member churches in Africa, ecumenical partners and specialised ministries.
“The consultation attempts to find ways of engaging churches and partners in collaboration with civil society and interfaith groups in Africa,” said Dr Nigussu Legesse, the WCC programme executive for advocacy on African issues.
“Together they will develop ecumenical advocacy strategies and action plans for combating the spread of SALW in Africa, which is one of the most significant issues resulting in a huge loss of human lives,” he added.
The consultation will address SALW proliferation as a peace and security issue and its relation to human rights violations in Africa. There will also be discussions on SALW contributing to deterioration of the rule of law, instability, effects on economic and social development and its human cost especially for women and children.
The consultation is a follow-up of an international consultation organised by the CCIA on “peace and security in Africa: ecumenical responses”, which was held in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this year.