NEWS on SMALL ARMS - February 2011

AEFJN booklet on
African organizations fighting small arms proliferation

 AEFJN has published a booklet with the organizations working for greater control of arms in Africa.

This booklet will allow AEFJN members in Africa to choose an organization in their country or region with whom they can cooperate in the fight against the proliferation of small arms in the continent, that cause so many deaths, injuries and suffering.


AEFJN Documents on Arms and Africa

 Just a reminder of the two documents AEFJN has prepared on small arms and Africa.

AEFJN Report on Arms exports from Europe to Africa - January 2011

AEFJN Report on Arms exports from Africa to Africa - January 2011


Southern Sudan celebrates peaceful referendum

Pete Muller/AP

Members of the Southern Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA) were observers during the largely successful referendum over Southern Sudan’s independence. SSANSA said, ”We believe that the campaigns, against misuse of guns, which we have conducted for over one year in southern Sudan, have contributed towards the peaceful referendum”. They continued, “We will work with [all] stakeholders to identify and implement appropriate measures to control the misuse of guns including mobilising citizens towards peaceful disarmament. We will engage our government to cooperate with other states to control small arms proliferation, and call for an international binding Arms Trade Treaty”.



Petrodollars boost African arms buying

Defense spending in Africa has increased significantly over the last few years, largely because the continent's key oil producers have scored heavy economic gains as crude prices have risen. Africa's defense market has grown at a rate of 13 percent in 2005-09. This is supposed to descend to an average of 3 percent through 2014. However, with oil prices hitting $100 a barrel once more that may not be the case. West Africa is fast becoming one of the hottest oil zones in the world. This is providing sizeable export boosts for the established oil producers like Angola and Nigeria. But it's also transforming long-impoverished states like Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya into significant producers.



Uganda - Lessons from Karamoja disarmament

Karamoja, a rough, dry rectangle in Uganda, between Kenya and Sudan, has long been a violent country. The influx of automatic weapons transformed the region's endemic cattle rustling into a much more violent undertaking. In 2001, the Uganda government undertook a disarmament. At first the programme was ostensibly voluntary, but commanders later switched to forcible disarmament, running cordon and search operations out in the bush. The Ugandan military (UPDF) claims it has recovered 29,000 weapons. A number of soldiers and of Karamojong lost their lives due to the disarmament. Local human rights group argue that UPDF used excessive force and that the civilian death toll is much higher than the military ones. The army showed lack of sensitivity and the disarmament process was uneven, leaving villages that had surrendered their weapons vulnerable to those that had not.

Read more...  


13-19 June 2011 - Global Week of Action
Against Gun Violence

The Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence 2011 will take place from 13-19 June. This year IANSA members will be using the week to mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Programme of Action on small arms, campaign for a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in preparation for the 4th ATT PrepCom, and promote the Disarm Domestic Violence Campaign, among other themes. Every year the Global Week of Action gets bigger, let’s make this year’s the biggest yet!


Russian Arms Dealer accused of selling arms in Africa

Alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout is accused of offering to supply arms to terrorists and rebels in Africa. The Bout case shows the urgent need for global rules on arms trade at the UN. Bout has been operating for decades as an arms dealer and was notorious for supplying arms to African countries in the middle of brutal civil wars, including Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan, among others. He could do that just because the void in international law when it comes to trading arms. There are dozens of arms dealers still operating today, free of legislation, free of international law on arms trade.



Award for article on Karamoja region

Journalist Simon Akam has won the Guardian International Development Journalism Competition 2010 for an article on conflict and insecurity in the Karamoja region of north-east Uganda.

Read the article...


CENTRAL AFRICA - New arms deal elicits optimism

The Kinshasa Convention is crucial to combat the illicit trafficking and misuse of small arms, and to diminish the proliferation of light weapons in Central Africa. Small arms have a devastating effect on people's lives and the ability to uphold law and order. The sub-regional framework to tackle this scourge merits international attention and support. Low prices mean small arms are easily accessible. A Kalashnikov can be bought in Brazzaville (R. Congo) for only US$50 or $60.


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