Arms Flows to Sub-Saharan Africa

By International Peace Research Institute
Updated: 12/26/2012

Local man walking on the street with russian machine gunBy Pieter D. Wezeman, Siemon T. Wezeman and Lucie Béraud-Sudreau. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, December 2011.

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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