Newly produced ammunition circulates mostly in Africa, Middle East — report

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NEW YORK – The Permanent Ambassador of Switzerland to the UN, Olivier Zehnder, said Monday in New York, that newly produced ammunition, mostly originating from facilities in China and Sudan, was circulating in conflict countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Zahnder, while presenting the 2014 Small Arms Survey to the media in New York, said that tracing investigations presented in the survey, concluded that the Sudan Government’s stockpiles were the primary source of weapons for non-state armed groups in Sudan and South Sudan.

The survey, Zahnder said was a project of the Graduate Institute of International and Studies Geneva and supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

The survey objective, he said were to be the principal international source of impartial and public information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence.

Others are to serve as resource centre for , policy makers, researchers and activists, to monitor national and international initiatives on small arms.

Others are support efforts to address the effects of small arms proliferation and misuse and also to act as clearinghouse for the sharing of information and the dissemination of best practice.

The first section of the 2014 survey focuses on the relationship between women and guns,highlighting the violence that still targets women and girls.

According to the survey the value of global trade in small arms and light weapons almost doubled between 2001 and 2011.

The survey stated that in 2011 the top exporters of arms and light weapons, in descending order, are the U.S., Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, the Russian , South Korea and Belgium.

Others are China, Turkey, Spain and the Czech Republic, the U.S.A, Canada, Germany,Austrialia, Thailand, the UK, France and Italy.

The survey also revealed that the explosions that destroyed several military barracks and killed many civilians in Brazzavile, Republic of Congo, on March 4 , 2012, were preventable, because prior to the explosions, a number of warning signs were ignored by international donor community.

The 260-paged survey is entittled: Women and Guns.

considers the multiple roles of women in the context of armed violence, security, and the small arms agenda.

The volume’s thematic section comprises one chapter on violence against women and girls with a focus on post-conflict Liberia and Nepal, and another on the recent convergence of the small arms agenda with that of women, peace, and security.

The section assesses the impact of the Arms Trade Treaty, presents the 2014 Transparency Barometer and an update on the authorised small arms trade, and analyses recent ammunition explosions in the Republic of the Congo.

In addition, it examines ammunition circulating in Africa and the Middle East, maps the sources of insurgent weapons in Sudan and South Sudan, and evaluates crime gun records in the United States.

On  April 2, 2013, the General Assembly adopted the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), regulating the international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.

The treaty will foster peace and security by thwarting uncontrolled destabilizing arms flows to conflict regions.

It will also prevent human rights abusers and violators of the law of war from being supplied with arm and help keep warlords, pirates, and gangs from acquiring these deadly tools.

About 118 countries s have signed the treaty while 40 have so far ratified it. (NAN)