Security threats in some parts of the country has prompted the government to restrict the sale of firearms. According to the Minister of Territorial Administration, the measure which is instructed by the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, is to check the illegal circulation and use of these weapons which if not checked would have a negative effect on the stability of the country.
Government has taken appropriate measures to check the proliferation of firearms in the country. Meeting with firearms dealers in Yaounde recently, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji stated that the move to restrict the sale of firearms stems from the instructions of the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, to check the proliferation of these weapons which poses a threat to the peace and stability of the country.
President Biya’s decision to regulate the sale and use of firearms, it should be noted, is certainly informed by the current upsurge of crime wave in some parts of the country notably in the South West, North West, Far North and East Regions. In the North West and South West Regions for instance, armed secessionists have been perpetrating terror with rampant killings and kidnappings of defence and security personnel as well as civilians.
In the Far North Region, the Boko Haram terrorist group has been fomenting attacks on security officers and civilians while in the East, rebel groups from the restive neighbouring Central African Republic easily cross into the country with arms. With all these, the President of the Republic who is concerned with the security and wellbeing of his people, is keen on controlling the circulation of firearms and its illegal use in a bid to protect the peace-loving population of Cameroon.
Statistics from the Ministry of Territorial Administration indicate that less than 3,800 firearms licenses have been issued but 27,000 weapons are in circulation. The issuing of licences for the possession of firearms in Cameroon rests in the hands of the Ministry of Territorial Administration. Atanga Nji and the dealers in firearms agreed to mitigate the sale and proliferation of weapons during Friday’s meeting which was a follow-up of an earlier suspension of the sale of firearms in six regions of the country notably the Centre, Littoral, Adamawa, South West, North West and Far North Regions. The present moves concerns the ten regions of the country as MINAT boss stated that “the illegal sale of weapons will not be tolerated in Cameroon.”
Atanga Nji indicted vendors for not respecting rules and facilitating the sale of weapons to unauthorised people. With instructions from President Paul Biya, vendors have been urged to record information patterning to the identity of firearms buyers and the number of arms sold to such persons. The data from the dealers will be forwarded to the Ministry of Territorial Administration for controls.