Dakar, Senegal - About 30 Senegalese journalists on Tuesday began a three-day workshop in Dakar aimed at sensitising and building the capacity of the media on the flow of small arms and light weapons (SALW).
The workshop was organised on the initiative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and the Senegal Ministry of the Armed Forces.
In his opening speech, Demba Diouf, principal private secretary to the Armed Forces Minister, stressed the importance of journalists' contribution in the implementation of the national action plan to stop the misuse of light weapons and of any institutionalization of armed violence by criminal groups
'Through journalists, as a socio-professional body, it is easier to reach the largest public in awareness raising campaigns on the harmful effects of SALW,' he said, adding that the ultimate objective was to update the knowledge of the journalists to better inform people about the dangers of SALW.
The Permanent Secretary of Senegal's National Commission on Small Arms (COMNAT), Col. Wagane Faye, urged the media to help strengthen the fight against SALW.
'The international community, sub-regional organisations and civil society organisations have launched a major offensive against this scourge which threatens peace, security as well as economic and social development,' he said.