- The Angolan government has collected more than 54,000 firearms during the ongoing civil disarmament programme launched by the government in April 2008, local media reports have said.
The spokesman for the National Commission for Disarmament, commissioner Paulo de Almeida said most of the weapons were collected in the remote provinces of Huíla, Huambo, Luanda, Uíge, Malanje and Benguela.
He said 16 April, National Disarmament Day, will mark a year since the Cabinet Council approved the government's action programme for disarmament of citizens illegally owning firearms which he said it was successful.
Angola is Africa’s major oil producer though it remains one of the world's poorest countries grappling to tackle the physical, social and political legacy of the 27-year civil war that ravaged the country after independence.
Local reports said most weapons are still in the hands of civilian population, which they had kept to protect themselves during the country’s civil war that took almost three decades.
In August last year, the Angolan government mounted a massive campaign to disarm military personnel of weapons from their homes in order to bring peace and stability during elections.
Angola held parliamentary elections which the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) won in a landslide victory in September 2008, the first polls to be held in the country in 16 years.
Long-awaited presidential elections, the first since 1992, are expected to be held in sometime this year.
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