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Regional Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons Control convenes in Khartoum

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- All media are invited to the following sessions of the Regional Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Control that will take place in Khartoum on 22 and 23 May 2012:

•    Tuesday, 22 May 2012, opening remarks at 09:00 hours, at the Corinthia (Burj Al-Fateh) Hotel, Khartoum.

•    Wednesday, 23 May 2012, opening remarks at 12:00 hours, and closing session followed by a press conference at 17:00 hours, at the Friendship Hall, Khartoum.

The main objective of the conference is to enhance coordination efforts on SALW control among Sudan's neighboring countries including Libya, the Central African Republic, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to strengthen security and stability in border areas, and promote sustainable peace and social and economic development in the region.

The cycles of conflict in the region due to long, porous borders have compromised the possibility of sustainable peace, security and development and weakened neighborly coordination. As long as these intra-country borders remain open and un-patrolled jointly, cross-border movement of armed groups, criminal activity and the proliferation of SALW will continue unabated across the region, engendering opportunities for insurgencies and further conflict.

The forum will foster a communique, a regional executive mechanism to enhance cooperation and coordination of arms control approaches among the participating countries.

The conference is organized by the Sudan Ministry of Interior and Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC) in collaboration with the Embassy of Germany, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

The conference will be attended by the Ministers of Interior of the participant countries accompanied by officials from the diplomatic community, international organizations on SALW control, national officials, security and law enforcement agencies, governors of neighboring districts and academics.