A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Last week Oxfam and Amnesty, as part of the Control Arms Coalition, drove a tank around central London, startling passers-by and even getting stopped by the police for a documentation check. While the vehicle was admittedly unorthodox, it was the perfect way to deliver its message – that the world needs a strong, uncompromising treaty to regulate the global weapons trade.
Just days away from the start of the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York, the tank journey in London was part of a global day of action for the Control Arms campaign.
The tank drove to the embassy or high commissions of India, South Africa, the USA, Brazil and Kenya – countries whose commitment is crucial to the negotiations next week.Campaigners from Oxfam and Amnesty were joined by war photographer Paul Conroy in London. He recently returned from Syria after suffering serious injuries while following the Syrian army offensive on the city of Homs. Photo: Control Arms
At the moment, the sale of bananas and smart phones is more regulated than the sale of semi-automatic weapons and tanks. This is madness and must change.
At the UN conference, almost 200 governments are meeting for most of July where they have the chance to agree a new treaty that could bring the sales of arms under control and will help prevent weapons falling into the wrong hands, which could help to save thousands of lives.
Originally published by the Huffington Post.
The Control Arms campaign: Join the call for a bullet-proof Arms Trade Treaty