DUSHANBE, 13 September 2012 – The OSCE Office observes and supports an operation to destroy small arms and light weapons which started in Dushanbe today.
The two-day operation is taking place at the Tajik Interior Ministry’s Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Storage and Destruction Facility. Over the next two days, the Ministry specialists using shredding machines provided by OSCE will destroy a total of 609 weapons collected in Tajikistan since the beginning of 2012. Most of them were collected over the past few weeks through the voluntary hand-in process after the recent security operation conducted in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of the country.
"The destruction of the small arms aims to reduce the risks of arms proliferation and is an important contribution to overall security in Tajikistan," said Alastair Livingston, the Head of the Politico-Military Department of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan during his visit to the destruction site.
“Our co-operation with the OSCE has a good history: the OSCE played a crucial role in the establishment of the SALW destruction capacity in Tajikistan, and we appreciate the Organization’s co-operation and support in this destruction operation,” said Major General Farhod Shodmonbekov representing the Interior Ministry of Tajikistan. “Destruction of illegal and excessive firearms is crucial in ensuring peace and stability.”
The OSCE Office in Tajikistan provided equipment for this sort of operations under its Small Arms and Light Weapons and Conventional Ammunition (SALW&CA) programme in 2005-2009. As part of its capacity-building efforts, the OSCE also provided several refresher training courses for Tajik specialists on SALW&CA stockpiles physical security measures, including transportation and destruction of arms and ammunition.