The police recorded 338 murder cases in Namibia involving fire-arms between January 2011 and January 2016.
Statistics also indicate that at least 1 050 attempted murder cases, 1 641 armed robbery cases and 1 997 threatening by fire-arm cases were reported in the country over the same period.
The statistics were revealed by Deputy Inspector General Desderious Shilunga during a two-day knowledge- and capacity-building workshop towards the ratification of the arms trade treaty and implementation of related national, regional and international instruments on small arms and light weapons, which is currently underway in Walvis Bay.
The workshop is being attended by close to 40 delegates, including members of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, defence and security, as well as police commissioners and other high-ranking officials.
According to Shilunga, the circulation and use of both lawful and unlawful firearms is indeed a concern as innocent lives – especially those of women and children – are lost almost every day.
“If this phenomenon is allowed to go on unchallenged, the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons will not only pose a threat to our national and regional security, it can also disrupt peace and political stability and has the potential to hold back the socio-economic development gains in our country and beyond our national borders,” he explained.
Shilunga added that Nampol is mindful of the fact that the increased circulation and trafficking of illicit small arms and light weapons contributes to violent crime, trafficking in drugs and precious minerals, and also contributes to the displacement of innocent people, as is evident in war-torn African countries and other parts of the world.
Also speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Safety and Security Daniel Kashikola said government is also concerned about the excessive accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons, both in urban and rural areas.
The minister added that the large number of armed civilian population which usually results in the abuse of fire arms is another serious concern.
“Government is, therefore, conscious that illegal firearms are mostly used in the perpetration of crimes, contribute to the high level of instability and extended conflict, violence and social dislocation.
“Therefore, stronger measures need to be enforced to control the spread of firearms and light weapons for the social well-being of Namibians,” he said.