Internal Security Minister, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana

The draft law on the implementation of the convention on the prohibition of development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their destruction, passed its first hurdle in Parliament this week.

On Thursday, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security in the Lower Chamber, examined and approved that the bill be forwarded to the House for scrutiny in the plenary.

Gideon Kayinamura, the chairperson of the committee, told The New Times yesterday that Internal Security Minister, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana, had presented it to the committee on behalf of the government.

“It is an international convention to which we are party, and as signatories, it is important that we abide by it by enacting a law that will help us to prohibit the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons wherever they are.” Kayinamura observed.

The bill follows a model set by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organisation, based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

OPCW promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to prohibit the use of chemical weapons. A common conception of a chemical weapon comprises a toxic chemical contained in a delivery system such as a bomb or artillery shell.

Under the CWC’s ‘challenge inspection’ procedure, States have committed themselves to the principle of ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections with no right of refusal.

By James Karuhanga, The New Times

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