Subregional Small Arms and Ammunition Field Identification and Tracing (SAAFIT) Dialogue and Training in Kenya
The Subregional Small Arms and Ammunition Field Identification and Tracing (SAAFIT) Dialogue and Training was conducted in Nairobi, Kenya on 7 – 9 June 2022. Part of the activity took place at the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS).
The jointly implemented SAAFIT training and dialogue was jointly conducted by the African Union Commission, RECSA, the Kenyan National Focal Point on Small Arms, BICC and the Bundeswehr Verification Centre. The SAAFIT training and dialogue was attended by six East African delegations from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Tanzania. In addition, experts from Interpol, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Conflict Armament Research (CAR) and SARCOM provided inputs.
The objective of the training was to provide delegations with technical and policy knowledge on the identification, marking, record-keeping and destruction of illicit small arms and light weapons and their ammunition, as well as to enable participants to exchange and network.
The dialogue and training sensitised the participating delegations to the importance of accurate identification and effective tracing procedures, emphasising their significance within a functional arms control architecture. The importance of transparency, information sharing and trust to facilitate cross-border cooperation and coordination was also highlighted. Country presentations provided insights on the current status of identification, documentation and tracing initiatives as well as marking, registration, record-keeping and destruction activities.
The project “Supporting small arms and light weapons (SALW) control in Africa” started in April 2021 and is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO). It aims at continuing providing support to the African Union its Regional Economic Communities, Regional Bodies and Member States to coordinate and implement arms control measures on a strategical, technical and policy level. Therefore, BICC is working with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) and the Khartoum-based Sub Regional Small Arms Control Mechanism (SARCOM) as well as some of their member states to support the implementation of international and regional small arms control instruments such as the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UN PoA),the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the African Union Silencing the Guns Plan of Action, the Nairobi Protocol and the ECOWAS Convention.
Its efforts range from harmonizing national small arms control legislation and guidelines with international and regional instruments, through capacity building along the entire spectrum of weapons and ammunition management, including marking, record keeping, tracing, and destruction of weapons and ammunition, as well as physical security and stockpile management (PSSM), to cross-border cooperation on small arms control.