Measures taken for undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests:
Lesotho has in place a deliberate policy to trace the origin of all confiscated before they can be destroyed They are subjected to the process of etching. This exercise is always done with the assistance of the South African Police Service - Lestho Police Service needs to train experts in the actual tracing, ethcing and destruction of illegal SALW.
Operational Informaton Exchange:
In terms of bilateral cooperation in tracing, Lesotho has conducted Joint Operations with the Republic of South Africa, which yielded positive results. Joint tracing and etching Operations are presently conducted annually by Lesotho Mounted Police Service and the South African Police Service. Lesotho also has a National Focal Point in place to facilitate information sharing within the SADC.
Lesotho has in place deliberate policy to trace the origin of all confiscated firearms before they can be destroyed, They are subject to the process of etching. This exercise is always done with the assistance of the Government of Republic of South Africa though the Sourth African Police Service.
Needs and Request for Assistance::
There is need to build adequate capacity of men and women to ensure effective cooperate in tracing, storing and ultimate destruction of illegal small arms and ammunition. Lesotho also needs technical and financial assistance to build capacity in the areas of marking and record keeping in order to support the effective implementation of their international tracing instrument. If marking is to go ahead in 2011 under the SADC Action Plan, Lesotho will need technical and financial assistance to buy machines and to train foficers to safely and effectively use the marking machines. There is a need for the records of all illegal firearms and ammunition to be computerized because manual recordkeeping may result in inaccuracies. This is very important if we are to effectively share information throughout the country, in the southern African region and on the international plane. A total of 48 computers would ease the problems inherent in keeping manual records. Relevant software and training would also be a necessity if we are to develop local expertise for sustainability of the project.
Lesotho Police need to train experts in the actual tracing, etching and destruction of illegal SALW.
Implementation challenges and opportunities:
It is difficult for states, lacking technical and financial muscles to fully implement this international tracing instrument on their own. Lesotho bears witness that bilateral joint tracing operations bear positive results in tracing the origin of illicit small arms and light weapons. The police operatives and investigators are better informed, as they get feedback about the origin of the illicit small arms and light weapons, which are picked up either from the crime scenes or as a result of bilateral Joint Operations.
There are fundamental challenges facing the country's efforts to effectively and sufficiently combat illegal trafficking of SALW and include:
- Manual record keeping of firearms
- Lack of hardware and software to improve the country's stockpile management