Nigeria 1st African nation to ratify arms treaty

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s foreign minister says his is the first African country to sign the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty marking “resolute and unyielding” efforts to deny arms to terrorists, pirates and bandits.

Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru said in a statement Tuesday that Monday’s signing in New York City represents his country’s deep commitment to controlling the trade.

Northeastern Nigeria is in the grip of an Islamic extremist uprising, piracy is increasing in its southern Atlantic waters and conflict over tribal and religious differences, as well as natural resources, often results in gunfire and bloodshed.

Arms control spokeswoman Anna Macdonald of the British-based charity Oxfam praised Nigeria and urged other countries to follow suit in Africa that “has long suffered the impact of an arms trade that is out of control.”

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