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Ethiopian government to conduct mandatory gun registry

Tuesday May 5, 2020

When the firearms control draft legislation got approval in parliament in January of this year, the government announced that the Federal Police Commission will organize a National Firearms Control Division to enforce new legislation across Ethiopia.

Now the government seems to be ready to launch the program.

The Federal Prosecutor General announced on Sunday that individuals or institutions owning any firearms should get it registered within two years.

New legislation makes the purchase or selling of firearms only with the recognition of the government, it was said – as reported by state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).

In the views of prosecutor General Adanech Abebe, the new legislation will fill legal gaps in firearms regulation and circulation.

The new legal regulation practice will require any organization/individual in-country to prove that they are authorized to possess and/or carry a gun.

Relevant government authorities will have to enforce the legislation in the next two years, according to the report by FBC on Sunday.

However, all those whose guns are registered might not be allowed to carry them. And not everyone could have the right to own a gun too. Once issued, the license has to be renewed every year and the owner will pay for renewal. It is unclear if

Citizens and organizations that apply for gun ownership need to meet a certain qualification, the Federal prosecutor Adanech Abebe said.  

So far no entity is authorized to sell firearms in the country. In recent months, there have been reports of repeated captures of illegal firearms in different parts of the country – not just individual assault rifles like AK 47 but also machine guns and launcher pads. 

In early March of this year, the Ethiopian intelligence department announced that it had seized two containers of illegal firearms that originated from Turkey and entered the country via Djibouti.

As much as there are those Ethiopians who tend to support illegal firearms control legislation, there are also those who have a concern about government plans to control the firearm.

In the northwestern part of Ethiopia and other parts of the Amhara regions of Ethiopia, among other areas, there have been centuries of gun-carrying culture.  For many, gun control legislation under the Abiy Ahmed administration is meant to disarm people in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

Last month, the government deployed tens of thousands of members of the defense force in the Gondar region of Ethiopia to disarm Fano – a loosely organized youth armed youth movement that was instrumental in ending the TPLF government domination in the Federal government.

On the other hand, some express concern about weapons that do not fall under the categories of the firearm. Most of the 86 people who were killed in late October following an incident in the Oromo region of Ethiopia were killed by Machete. Arrow was used in most of the ethnic-based hate killings in the Benishangul Gumuz region of the country in the recent past.


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