The House of Representatives (HPR) has approved a bill on the prevention and suppression of the financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which was provided last month.
The new bill was drafted to address the recent increase in illegal arms trafficking, while its preparation was given due attention in accordance with the Conventions and Treaties on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Use of WMD and their Proliferation.
The bill was presented last month where the deputies held a first-hand debate on the provisions of the draft and then refer it to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Peace for further examination.
During its 21st regular session, held on Tuesday, the House heard the Standing Committee's resolution presented by Tesfaye Daba, Chair of the Standing Committee.
Introducing the resolution, Tesfaye explained that the issuance of a national law became necessary as agreed by the convention, which requires each party to take the necessary steps to implement its obligations under the conventions and treaties it has concluded.
He further said that committee members agreed on the need for the bill, "If the country ratifies this convention, it will help facilitate the smooth transfer of finances and investments flowing into Ethiopia from other signatory countries while helping banks to economize ". their time, which usually takes a long time to verify the sources and legality of the finances transferred through them. "
In the resolution, the standing committee reviewed the draft resolution that designated the penalty against anyone who had originally violated the law.
For example, the bill first proposed a penalty that would punish offenders "a rigorous prison of up to ten to fifteen years or with a fine not to exceed 100,000 birr or both." However, the Standing Committee increased the level of punishment to 15 years in prison. imprisonment or a fine not exceeding one million birr.
Meanwhile, for offenses committed by a legal person, the committee reviewed the punishment, in addition to administrative measures, of 500,000-1,000,000 birr to 5,000,000 – 10,000,000 birr million birr.
In addition, the bill establishes a National Committee for Non-Proliferation of WMDs accountable to the Prime Minister.
Likewise, the Ministry of Peace (MoP) will serve as secretariat of the committee.
The Committee has about seven large lists of powers and responsibilities which mainly include providing guidance and leadership in assessing the risk of financial support for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction made in Ethiopia or using Ethiopia as a transit corridor .
In addition, it is responsible for overseeing the United Nations Security Council's domestic implementation of sanctions on financing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as evidence of guidance and support. Likewise, the Council of Ministers (CoM) is also empowered, inter alia, to issue orders to freeze any funds, other assets and economic resources of a person designated by the UN Security Council Resolution.