The arms trade to Africa is small by global standards, but it has outsized impacts on security. Even older or small arms shipments have exacerbated or tipped the balance toward one group in unstable contexts such as Darfur, Chad, or Madagascar. However, arms flows are also necessary for governments to manage legitimate security challenges, including those participating in peace operations in the Congo or Somalia. African states should more aggressively uphold international transparency and reporting standards on arms purchases, flows, and inventory to ensure they reinforce rather than undermine security on the continent.
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