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Police launches registration exercise for small arms in Unity State

South Sudan’s national police services in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Monday launched registration exercise for small arms in Bentiu town of Unity State.

 The launching ceremony held at Dr. John Garang stadium was attended by unity state minister of local government and law enforcement, state police commissioners and community leaders.

Lieutenant Colonel, John Matien Kuol the salient project facilitator told Juba Echo that the registration of small arms was completed will reduce gun-related violence and crimes in Unity state.

 “We conducted awareness in others states and Unity State is one of the last two states where we are conducting registration, all those who are holding guns will be registered and this will reduce communal violence as civilians are using guns for revenge killings and cattle raiding,”  Kuol said.

“The small arms registration will be peaceful because we are not forcing them (people) to register their guns, it will be done on voluntary basis because we are not disarming them but we want to eliminate violence by being able to trace gun ownership,” she added.

2nd Lt Mamuor Dol Phan, of the police criminal investigation department in Unity State said that all community leaders, elderly people, youths and religious leaders have agreed to support small arms registration.

“Small arms registration will bring lasting peace in the community and will also make it easy to trace guns because after registration the gun holders will be given identity cards,” Phan said.

Unity state women league deputy chairlady, Mary Nyakun Diew said that abuse of guns has contributed to wave of crime and killings this year in the state.

“It will be good to disarm the civilians rather than registration of guns, revenge killing is rampant because untrained civilians are the one holding guns, let the government and peace partners disarm the civilians,” Diew said.

Last year Koch County Commissioner has ordered registration of guns registration to ascertain the number of armed civilians.

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