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Civilian Disarmament

South Sudan is awash with Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). These arms have been misused by both civilians and member of the organized forces. The weapons in the hands of civilians are not only a legacy of the protracted civil war that led to the independence of South Sudan but also a current supply from non-state armed groups, spills from government stockpiles, local and cross-border arms trafficking among others. In response to the high proliferation of SALW, there have been several civilian disarmament attempts undertaken by the Government of South Sudan in order to reduce the volume of arms circulating in the country. The attempts were not comprehensive and uniform across the entire country. It often resulted into scores of fatalities on both civilian and security agents. These attempts which dates back to the immediate post CPA period has recovered substantial amount of weapons. However, there are still an estimated over 1 million firearms circulating in the hands of civilians in South Sudan. SSANSA is working with stakeholders to search for a pro-people and effective mechanism of civilian disarmament in South Sudan. The SEB dialogues reinforce civilian disarmament as many civilians justify arms possession for self protection due to the absence of state security. Our search for a pro-people civilian disarmament mechanism is underpinned by a careful balance and equal emphasis on curbing supply of arms and addressing factors that motivate community members to possess arms.

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