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MSAG HANDS OVER REGIONAL PSSM PROGRAM TO RECSA
MSAG HANDS OVER REGIONAL PSSM PROGRAM TO RECSA

NAIROBI: On 21 March 2019, the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) officially took charge of the regional capacity building program on weapons and ammunition management, in a ceremony graced by the German Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Annette Gunther and the RECSA Executive Secretary Lt. Gen. Badreldin Elamin Abdelgadir.

The Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) regional program adopts the train-the trainers’ approach; aiming to develop a pool of highly skilled Weapons and Ammunition Experts who can cascade the knowledge to other armed officers at the national level.

The handover follows the development of the initial pool of instructors who possess the knowledge, experience and skills to train other officers in the region. This pool of 26 instructors has been developed over a 6-year period with curriculum and training being provided by European Instructors. As of today, 304 participants from 18 African countries have been trained and 26 qualified as instructors.

Since 2012, the Regional PSSM Program has been run by a troika of international and regional security actors. The European consortium of defence specialists – Multinational Small Arms and Ammunition Group (MSAG) has been providing technical, financial and training expertise; the International Peace Support Centre (IPSTC) has been hosting the training sessions; while RECSA has been leading the convening and delivery of the program.

Following the handover, RECSA will take overall leadership of the program, ensuring continuity and expansion. MSAG will provide technical advice while IPSTC shall continue to host the training sessions. This is a clear demonstration of the regional ownership of the responsibility to train and retrain critical officers in the management of Small Arms, Light Weapons and Conventional Ammunition.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, German Ambassador H.E. Annette Guntther and the RECSA Executive Secretary Lt. Gen. Badreldin Elamin Abdelgadir reiterated the need for upholding standards and ethics on the safe handling of state-held arms to enhance accountability, avert diversion and prevent security risks such as unintended explosions and diversion to criminals and terrorists. This will in turn enhance security and allow regional governments and citizens to focus on socio-economic development as well as good governance.

The Handover Ceremony was attended by representatives from the Embassies of MSAG Countries including H.E. Ambassador Gunther (Germany), H.E. Ambassador Dr Christian Fellner (Austria), and Mr. Ivan Feyes (Deputy Ambassador -Belgium). RECSA Partner organizations including Interpol, African Union, UN Regional Centre for Disarmament (UNREC), UN office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC) and the Sub-Regional Arms Control Mechanism (SARCOM) were represented.

Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) entails the use of simple yet effective ways of managing and controlling arms in limited-resource environments. The regional PSSM program develops capacity of local experts who can cascade the training to other crucial actors in the RECSA region and beyond. It provides for adaptation of international best practices in weapons and ammunition management to the regional context. The UN Standards referenced in the PSSM curriculum are the Modular Small-arms-control Implementation Compendium (MOSAICS, formerly ISACS) and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).

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