Small Arms Commission destroys over 105,000 Seized, Obsolete and Voluntarily Surrendered Firearms, Ammunitions and Explosives

Monrovia, Monday, October 31, 2022: The Liberian Government through the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA) has for the first time in seven years carried out the public destruction of over 105,000 seized, obsolete and voluntary surrendered firearms. The well attended event took place at the Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barracks in the Schiefflein Township, Lower Margibi on Thursday, 27 October, 2022. The physical destruction exercise was carried out by members of the Technical Committee on Arms (TCA) comprising technicians from arms bearing state security institutions and the Small Arms Commission.


The public destruction exercise was witnessed by the National Security Advisor to the Office of the President, officials from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defense and state security agencies, Members of the Liberian Legislature, the Traditional Council of Liberia, the Hunter Union of Liberia and Federation of Liberia Youth. Also in attendance were members of the Diplomatic Crop from the Embassies of the United States of America, Sweden and Germany as well as Representatives from the European Union (EU), ECOWAS, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), and the Mano River Union (MRU).


During the formal ceremony, Deputy Minister of Operations Hon. Prince K. Vincent, proxy of the Minister of National Defense, Retired General Daniel D. Ziankan Jr, lauded the Chairman of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms and international partners for supporting the destruction of weapons that were used to commit crimes.


The Deputy Minister for Operations underscored that illicit small arms and light weapons has been continuously used to undermine the peace and security of Liberia and the African sub region. He emphasized the need to periodically ensure the destruction of obsolete, surplus, seized and voluntarily surrendered weapons and ammunitions as well as explosives.   


In his statement, the Chairman of LiNCSA, Atty. Teklo Maxwell Grigsby, II explained that the weapons destruction exercise was made possible with funding support from the ECOWAS-EU Organized Crime West Africa Response to Trafficking (OCWAR-T) and the AU-UN September 2022 Amnesty Month projects as well as technical support from the Mine Action Advisory Group (MAG), UNREC, RECSA, UNDOA, GFFO and other partners.


Chairman Grigsby informed the gathering that most of the firearms collected by the Commission for destruction were arms used to commit crimes and confiscated by the courts or those arrested by the Liberia National Police from crime scenes as well as firearms left behind in communities during the Liberian Civil War and turned over to the Commission by community dwellers.


According to LiNCSA Boss the Commission in collaboration with the LNP and AFL retrieved one hundred and seven (107) pieces of firearms and approximately two thousand (2,000) rounds of ammunition from courts and police depots in five counties, a fraction of the total number of illicit firearms and ammunition in those counties.


Speaking further, the Chairman extended sincere thanks and appreciation to the President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Ambassador George M. Weah for his political will to promote peace and security in Liberia and the ECOWAS sub region.


For his part, Hon. Jefferson S. Kanmoh, National Security Advisor to the Office of the President of Liberia noted that the destruction exercise was a justification for more budgetary support to the Commission arms control programs. The National Security Advisor used the occasion to thank development partners, Civil Society Organizations, Traditional Council of Liberia and state security agencies for the collaborative efforts to eliminate illegal firearms in Liberia and promote a peaceful society free of all forms of guns violence.


Also speaking, UNDP-Liberia Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Louis Kuupen, pointed out that the destruction exercise demonstrates Liberia’s commitment to fight the circulation of illicit firearms, and reinforces the UNDP support to Liberia peace and security, promoting the sustainable development goals of Liberia.


The Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Ambassador Urban Sjostrom, lauded the Liberian Government efforts to promote peace and security and called on other countries in West Africa, especially those countries that have experienced military coup to emulate the good example of Liberia by carrying out arms destruction. Ambassador Sjostrom noted that the destruction of illicit weapons and ammunitions is very crucial especially as Liberia prepares for elections in 2023, emphasizing that Liberians should exhibit the values of democracy.


Representatives from the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODOA) commended the Commission and reiterated their support to assist eradicate the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons in Liberia and across its borders.



The destruction exercise was funded under the African Union-United Nations joint support for African countries, September 2022 African Union Amnesty Month on “Silencing the Guns” project and the ECOWAS-EU Organized Crime West Africa Response to Trafficking (OCWAR-T) project with technical assistance from the Mine Action Advisory Group (MAG).


The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms, is the national competent authority with the general mandate to regulate and supervise the import, export, transfer, storage and use of arms, ammunition, explosives and related materials in possession of state security agencies and civilians.