KIGALI, The 45th meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) has opened in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, with a call for fresh impetus against proliferation of illicit arms to address security challenges.

The experts' meeting started on Tuesday and it will be followed by the foreign ministers' meeting on Friday. Top issues on the agenda are the political situation in central Africa and a review of disarmament and arms limitation programmes in the sub-region.

Speaking at the opening, the Permanent Secretary in Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Ministry, Claude Nikobisanzwe, cited the current situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), and terrorism menace posed by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram as being among the security challenges.

"States have to pursue their ongoing efforts against the proliferation of illicit arms," he said. Without peace and security it will be impossible to realize the aspirations of our populations, he added.

Anne Chantal Nama, the outgoing chairperson of 45th meeting of experts of the committee, mentioned the need for a holistic approach to address the region's security challenges. Effective implementation of a regional strategy against terrorism and the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons is vital step, she said.

Foreign ministers, experts and observers from regional and international organizations from the 11 member countries of the committee will attend the meeting.

The UNSAC, which consists of the emocratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe, meets twice a year at to discuss disarmament, terrorism, armed conflicts, piracy and other issues in the region.


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