Small Arms in Africa, A Great Danger for Peace and Security - AEFJN Factsheet

A presentation easy to read on the Access to quality medicines to all in Africa, some challenges encountered, the position of AEFJN, recomendations of the 2nd Synod for Africa and proposals for a commitment to a better access to medicines of quality.

1305-06 NEWS ON SMALL ARMS - May-June 2013

67 countries sign the Arms Trade Treaty

When the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) adopted on 2 April 2013 opened for signature on 3 June 2013, 60 countries among them 23 countries from the EU and 9 from Africa signed it. Among them there were a few countries greatly affected by unregulated arms transfers and 3 of the biggest exporter: Germany, France and Britain. 50 ratifications are necessary for the ATT coming into effect. 

Read more…


For photos of diplomats with members of Control Arms,


Photos of signatories while signing:


The Arms Trade Treaty: A Step Forward
in Small Arms Control?

The Small Arms Survey Research Note, ‘The Arms Trade Treaty: A Step Forward in Small Arms Control?’ explores the relationship between the ATT and other international instruments in this area and examines the ATT’s potential impact on the existing commitments in the area of small arms control and, specifically, international transfers.


Read more…


Download ‘The Arms Trade Treaty: A Step Forward in Small Arms Control?’:

Arms trafficking in Western Africa: Côte d'Ivoire and Mali at the core

In the unstable situation in the Sahel region the role of arms trafficking in the perpetuation and aggravation of violent conflicts in Western Africa it is important. This research of GRIP focused on Mali and Côte d’Ivoire presents the role of French and Belorussian brokers that provided to the former authorities large quantities of small arms and light weapons (SALW). On the opposite side important stocks of small arms and ammunition were delivered to the former rebels by Burkina Faso. In Mali, the acquisition of arms by armed groups controlling northern Mali has come mainly through fleeing fighters and Salafist networks that acquired a large quantity of weapons from stockpiles in Libya.

Read more… (english)


Télécharger :  Côte d’Ivoire et Mali, au cœur des trafics
d’armes en Afrique de l’Ouest
(only in French)


Ad Hoc Arsenals of Selected Non-state Actors

While the physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) of small arms, light weapons and their ammunition by governmental bodies have been well followed, little attention has been paid to the arsenals of non-state armed groups, yet the danger are similars as are the arms used by both groups. This Small Arms Brief analyses the practices of armed groups in three countries: the Misrata revolutionary brigades in Libya; the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC; and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA.


Download Ad Hoc Arsenals: PSSM Practices of Selected Non-state Actors


Military spending and the EU crisis

The big amounts of military spending continue despite the seriousness of the European economic crisis. While social policies, pensions and wages are being cut, military spenditure is hardly being reduced.  In a time of austerity the EU military expenditure totalled €194 billion in 2010, equivalent to the annual deficits of Greece, Italy and Spain combined. The weapons industry calls on the importance of the number of jobs. Or in many countries the big military expenditure contributed to the debt crisis, as was the case in Greece and Portugal. The paper Guns, Debt and Corruption: Military spending and the EU crisis reveals how even Italy, facing debts of €1.8 trillion, still spends a higher proportion of its GDP on military expenditure than the post-Cold War low of 1995.


Jesuit Initiative against the weapons that fuel
the crisis in the Great Lakes region

The Jesuit Great Lakes Advocacy Initiative, promoted by organizations linked to the Society of Jesus has decided to raise the awareness of the international public opinion on the crisis in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and to monitor the flow of weapons that fuel the war in the region. The proliferation and the trafficking of illegal arms in DRC has fuelled the escalation of the conflict and the instability of the region.  The coalition will highlight the link between the conflict and the proliferation of weapons, and will work at tracing the origin of the flow of arms towards the area, conducting in-depth researches in the field.


Partnerships for Peace and Development:
South Sudan and China

The Saferworld briefing explores key issues voiced and discussed at the seminar with government, researchers, public and private companies and civil society from China and South Sudan on the economic cooperation between the two countries. Emerging from a long period of conflict, South Sudan faces various development challenges. The announcement on the 23rd April of a substantial package of loans from China to South Sudan for transport and energy infrastructure projects highlights the importance of conflict sensitive economic cooperation, as economic cooperation does not inevitably lead to peace.


Read more.


Download Partnerships for Peace and Development: South Sudan and China 


AU prepares its shock troops

UN Photo Stuart Price.

The new African Union (AU) force called African Immediate Crisis Response Capacity (AICRC) will intervene quickly in emergency situations conflicts within the continent and will have a strictly military capacity. This force is different from the “rapid deployment capability” (RDC) African Standby Force (ASF) that is planned to be ready later on and will have military, policing and civilian duties. Read more.


Harmonized EU Arms Exports Policies in Times of Austerity?

The Greens at the European Parliament presented a study on EU Arms exports and Human Rights. EU member states are the first arms exporters in 2011 (61% of the EU arms export went outside the EU).  The arms seen in the Arab Spring revolts were often coming from the EU, thus showing that the human rights criteria in the EU Common position have not always been respected.

Find the study at :


1301 AEFJN NEWS on SMALL ARMS – January 2013

Arms Trade Treaty – Last chance Negotiations?

For the first time in history, common rules on the international transfers of conventional arms could be established at the UN. After July 2012 failure, there is a new opportunity in March 2013. The challenge to overcome the differences to reach a consensus on a final text remain the same. Negotiators can rely on the July draft whose contented is presented in the following “Note”.

Read more - Source: Control Arms


Towards better control of arms transfers

In December, AEFJN participated at the yearly meeting of NGOs-COARM (EU member states representatives on weapons). The discussion centred on the Review on the EU Common Position criteria to grant arms licenses that are not detrimental to the populations of the receiving countries. Regarding the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Negotiation Conference at the UN in March 2013, civil society can play its part in keeping the issue in the media and joining forces with interfaith groups and governments for the sake of a strong ATT.

Read more


Measuring International Arms Transfers

The new Fact Sheet on international arms transfers by SIPRI provides reliable information on suppliers and recipients as well as types and volumes of conventional arms being transferred. The data provide an indication of the importance of the arms industry for trade, an overview of the main recipients of arms and the main types of arms being exported and an opportunity to assess arms export policies in the context of international and national law.

Read more-Source


Faith groups fight proliferation of small arms in Africa

Churches representatives affirm that partnership with faith-based organizations is essential in addressing the illicit proliferation of small arms and its devastating impact on peace, security and stability in many African countries. This is the reason why churches support a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Read more - Source: Oikumene


Assessment of European arms export in 2011

Transparency in the arms trade is an essential ingredient to improve the accountability of States in their arms transfers and to guarantee the democratic character of this aspect management. The EU Annual Report on export of military technology and equipment provides information on exports authorized by European countries in 2011.

Read more - Source: JP Barcelona


The Arms Trade is Big Business

In a very simple way with graphics and short explanations the page gives information on arms transfers. The world military spending has now reached one trillion dollars, close to Cold War levels. In recent years, annual sales of arms have risen to around $50-60 billion but the global crisis begins to be felt in arms sales. Developing nations continue to be the primary focus of the2 or 3 major foreign weapons suppliers.

Read more - Source: Global Issues


Global arms sales sharply increased in 2011
compared to 2010

Sale of arms in 2011 increased to around $85 billion, 84% of which went to developing countries. This was almost double the arms sales compared to 2010 which was the lowest since 2004. The increase was mainly due to the US sales of arms to Saudi Arabia, while most other major arms sellers saw a decrease in sales. 

Read more - Source: Global Issues


Activities on the Arms Trade Treaty as the
UN July Conference approaches

The global trade in conventional weapons – from warships and battle tanks to fighter jets and machine guns – remains poorly regulated. No set of internationally agreed standards exist to ensure that arms are only transferred for appropriate use. The UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in July 2012 will elaborate an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms. It is important that the Arms Trade Treaty be legally binding and have the highest possible standards.

As the July UN Conference approaches all stakeholders interested in getting a strong and legally binding ATT get active in lobbying policy makers.


Action for a strong and robust Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

You can influence the ATT negotiations by writing to your government asking them to support a strong and robust Arms Trade Treaty that will save lives and reduce human suffering.  Find a model letter and action at the AEFJN website. Join our action by sending the letter to your government representative.

Sign the online appeal to governments for strong Arms Trade Treaty.


It's time to act brochure: ATT basics

The “It's time to act brochure” explains simply what the ATT is, why we need one and what you can do about it.


Participate in the June 27th Global Day of Action
for the ATT

On June 27th, people from all over the world will promote the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in events with political, religious and other leaders, media and encouraging activists to take action in many diverse ways. This day will also be the culmination of the Speak Out! Action.

Prayer for the Global Day of Action  


West African countries gather in Nigeria to discuss ATT

On April 26-27, representatives of civil society and the Control Arms coalition met with 15 member states from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria. Discussions focused on strengthening the ECOWAS common position on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) ahead of the final ATT negotiations in July. The meeting provided a unique opportunity for ECOWAS Member States to update their knowledge on the state of play at the UN ATT Preparatory Committees and to strategize for the upcoming Diplomatic Conference in July.  All the 15 States are now committed to adequately prepare and gear up for the July conference.


Uganda: 300,000 small arms smuggled into
East Africa in the past 10 years

A total of 300,000 small arms have been smuggled into Uganda and other East African Community countries over the last 10 years, according to the East Africa Action Network on Small Arms (EAANSA). In a recent press conference, they called on governments of the East African Community to support a strong ATT which is legally binding and includes criteria that can help prevent arms transfers where there is a substantial risk that they will be used to violate international human rights, humanitarian law or undermine development. Richard Mugisha of EAANSA said, “How can the sale of mangoes be more tightly controlled than the sale of machine guns? It just doesn’t make sense. The situation is indefensible and it’s long overdue for countries to hammer out a legally-binding agreement on weapons transfers”.


Import and transit considerations in an
Arms Trade Treaty

Whereas much of the attention in ATT discussions has been placed on the export aspect of the international arms trade and the major arms exporting states, a majority of states are primarily or even exclusively arms importers, with many also being states through which arms transit. In this report, the authors provide recommendations for how to responsibly include and implement import and transit controls under an Arms Trade Treaty. The report is based on case studies of Barbados, Estonia and Namibia, states located near major trade routes and thus familiar with the transit trade, while at the same time not major arms producers or exporters.


Africa Regional Consultation on the ATT

On 21-22 May 2012, IANSA together with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) organised a conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to prepare for the ATT Diplomatic Conference in July 2012. The meeting was held in collaboration with the African Union (AU) with support from the Government of Australia and brought together governmental experts from 54 African countries, as well as officials from the UN, the AU and African regional economic communities. Leading regional and international think-tanks and NGOs also took part in the meeting as observers. 


Mali: Press Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

On 20 March, IANSA members co-hosted a press conference in Bamako, Mali, on the campaign for a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to help prevent serious human rights abuses and atrocities committed with small arms. The event was attended by 48 journalists

The Costs of Firearm Violence:
A National Public Health Priority

An analysis of the public health consequences of gun violence in South Africa by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), highlights how cause-of-death data is an essential component of health information systems The burden of mortality and morbidity arising from violence and injury affects the lives of millions of individuals annually and continues to undermine social harmony and socio-economic development. This is, now more than ever, a national public health priority – one that needs to be monitored and controlled so as to limit the number of injuries and non-natural deaths in South Africa.


New report from Oxfam highlights irresponsible
arms transfers

More than $2.2bn worth of arms and ammunition have been imported since 2000 to countries operating under arms embargoes, according to the new report “The Devil is in the Detail”  by Oxfam International.  It includes recommendations for how the ATT can help prevent irresponsible arms deals, and says “The ATT can build on existing regional and sub-regional initiatives: as of 2012, 100 countries are already party to various regional agreements that include legally binding criteria to control the trade of arms and ammunition”.


Arms Control and Armed Violence Prevention
in Ivory Coast

Sub-regional instability, conflict, the emergence of armed groups, the deterioration of law and order, and armed criminality have all contributed to the proliferation and illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons in Côte d’Ivoire. The presence of a substantial number of weapons means that violent incidents now have much more serious consequences. The Small Arms Survey has published “A National Survey of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Côte d’Ivoire: Arms Control and Armed Violence Prevention before the Post-electoral Crisis”. The report aims to help the country formulate a national plan of action to combat the proliferation, circulation, and illegal use of small arms.

Executive Summary :


East African Community passes bill
to prevent gun trafficking

The Legislative Assembly of the East African Community (EAC) have passed an amendment to the East African Community Customs Management Act that highlights the need for more cooperation and information sharing between authorities in the region to help prevent gun trafficking. This could help East African economies as, indirectly, a lot of economic losses made annually due to insecurity will be curtailed. A recent report by the Stimson Center and the Stanley Foundation points to the effects of gun proliferation on economies in the region. According to the authors, “Gun violence and SALW trafficking in Eastern Africa have had profound impacts on national development prospects”.



Optimism as Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) ends

On 17 February, the fourth ATT Preparatory Committee ended after states finally agreed on rules of procedure for the final negotiations in July this year. One outcome was that all decisions in the negotiations will be adopted ‘by consensus’. However, several states made it clear that this does not mean a single state will be able to veto provisions in the final Treaty. It was agreed that NGOs will be allowed access to most sessions, and granted a time slot to formally address delegates. Although this PrepCom was slowed by intense negotiations on procedural matters, the paper from the third PrepCom in July 2010 survived and provides a good foundation for the negotiations this summer. Many states have expressed their support for the inclusion of small arms and light weapons and ammunition in the scope of the ATT, as well as references to victim assistance, cooperation and assistance, and gender based violence. However, we will need to remain active and vigilant to make sure these issues are included in the final treaty text".


Small arms Control measures

In July 2012, UN member states will meet to negotiate a legally binding international instrument governing the transfer of conventional arms: the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The ATT initiative represents an important step in the global struggle against illicit arms transfers. As a contribution to the ATT discussions, the Small Arms Survey has issued, Small Arms Transfer Control Measures and the Arms Trade Treaty: A Small Arms Survey Review (2007–10). This research will help inform the ATT discussions by illustrating some of the strengths and weaknesses in the current export control regime, as well as highlighting some options for improvement.


Members of Parliaments sign declaration on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Nearly 150 Members of Parliament worldwide have signed the Parliamentarian Declaration on the Arms Trade Treaty. According to the Control Arms Secretariat, “Support from parliamentarians is critical to our long-term success; they can act as advocates, lawmakers, guardians of public trust and also as moral individuals”. For an updated version of the declaration and more information on how to collect signatures, see


A victim calls for a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Former IANSA Board member Dr Mick North, who lost his 5-year old daughter in the 1996 Dunblane primary school shooting, is calling on the UK government to support a strong ATT that can help prevent gun violence. In a statement, he said, "Over the next few months the UK's voice must remain strong, consistent and direct…We've come too far to weaken our stance and I want Prime Minister David Cameron to ensure that the UK remains fully committed to securing a strong treaty". On 13 February, in an event in Glasgow organised by the Scottish sections of Amnesty International and Oxfam, he was joined by David Grimason, a gun control campaigner whose 2-year old son was killed in crossfire in Turkey in 2003. David Grimason said, “At the moment three-quarters of a million people are dying every year … because of the easy access to firearms, I think this treaty will reduce the amount of firearms out there and save a number of lives and make the world a lot safer".

Mapping the small arms trade

The Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) have updated their ‘Arms Trade Mapper’, an online tool for visualising data on the global trade in small arms. It provides the option to view trade between countries, and individual profiles for each country including information on their export and imports and top trading partners as well as homicide rates, GDP Per Capita, and human rights records.


Sweden: Arms exports reach record level

Swedish disarmament campaigners are outraged after a new report shows Swedish arms exports are higher than ever, reaching a total value of over 2 billion USD in 2011. Sweden is currently the world’s largest arms exporter per capita. The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society said, "Among the largest buyers in the last year, we notice Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. These countries, where serious human rights violations take place, received about 60% of the total arms exports from Sweden". Sofia Walan of IANSA member Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFor) said, "This is shameful and it is clear that there are strong commercial interests affecting how the laws are interpreted". The campaigners have issued a motion of censure demanding that the government put an end to irresponsible arms exports.


DR Congo: National Commission on small arms welcomes new regional office

The National Commission on small arms in the DR Congo has established a regional office in the western city of Boma, with support from UNDP to bring together local representatives of the military, the national police and intelligence, border control officials and civil society organisations. In January, a delegation from Kinshasa led a 5 day training in Boma on best practices for the collection and destruction of weapons and the importance of a gendered approach, based on the experience of colleagues in other parts of the country and their work to curb the proliferation of small arms. Another regional office is already operational in Bunia, Eastern DR Congo, and plans are underway to open similar entities in Lubumbashi in the south and the northern city of Kisangani.

Norwegian Campaign highlights irresponsible arms trade

“Sweet Norwegian Deals” is a new campaign by the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) which highlights how Norwegian export policy, particularly on arms and ammunition, is contributing to poverty and under-development. NCA calls on the Norwegian government to review their arms export policy, enforce end user agreements on all transfers, and support an Arms Trade Treaty to prevent Norwegian arms from fuelling conflict and being used in serious human rights violations. 


Uganda: New gun control policy proposed following police shooting

The Uganda National Focal Point on small arms has released a policy statement calling for a new law to replace the 1970 Firearms Act, which currently regulates guns and ammunition in the country. The proposed law would require any person applying for a gun licence to complete a training course and pass tests on gun laws and the use, carry and proper storage of guns. The Focal Point also proposed that public areas such as hospitals, schools, theatres, museums and entertainment venues are declared gun-free areas. Richard Mugisha of the Ugandan Action Network on Small Arms (UANSA) commented that training of law enforcement personnel is also essential to prevent abuse. The policy was proposed just days after a police officer fired shots at an unarmed crowd in Port Bell, near Kampala, killing at least one person and injuring several others.


Report on Dutch arms exports in 2010

An analysis of Dutch arms exports in 2010, compiled by Campagne tegen Wapenhandel (Campaign Against Arms Trade), is now available in English. It provides details of transfers with a special focus on the arms trade with the Middle East and North Africa. According to the authors, transfers in 2010 included the sale of a substantial amount of surplus guns and ammunition to Jordan. In addition, arms transit through the Netherlands included 300 Belgian machine guns destined for Bahrain, 5.000 Czech pistols to Bangladesh and nearly 350 million Russian firearm cartridges to the US.


DR Congo: Ministries and best practice on disarmament

In the DR Congo, the Minister of Interior and Security, in cooperation with IANSA member Réseau Congolais d'Action sur les Armes Légères (RECAAL) and the National Commission om small arms hosted a morning of education on best practice for disarmament. Participants were informed about guidelines developed by the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) for the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa on tackling disarmament issues in a way that takes into account the context of each state in the region. The meeting was attended by representatives and experts from civil society, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior, and the National Commission.


Blog on the Arms Trade Treaty and UN Programme of Action on small arms

This blog elaborates on the differences and common features of the anticipated Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA). The blog is an effort to Prevent War.

Guinea: New Year celebration to prevent
small arms proliferation

In the northern town of Maali in Guinea, New Year was celebrated with an event to raise awareness among young people about HIV/AIDS and the proliferation of small arms. More than 1000 people attended the event. It was organised by the visiting Youth Council of Kedougou, Senegal, as part of efforts to promote integration between Senegal and Guinea. The president of the Senegalese group said, “We need to join forces to fight these two scourges and ensure social stability and health in our bordering countries”. Activities included a question and answer session and the performing of music and poetry on the consequences of misuse of guns, the dangers of homemade weapons, and security in the home. Participants were invited to become mediators and help to inform their communities about what they had learned.


South Sudan: Government launches disarmament programmes

The Government of South Sudan has announced the start of disarmament campaigns in volatile states following recent clashes between armed groups where hundreds of people are thought to have been killed. South Sudan President Salva Kiir has offered an amnesty to rebel groups, but warned that if weapons are not handed in peacefully, the army will take them by force. Civilian possession of SALW remains a significant obstacle to promoting security for communities in South Sudan. But, if poorly managed, efforts to disarm populations can potentially act as a catalyst for violence between communities or result in clashes between the military and the communities that are to be disarmed.


Ammunition marking

“Ammunition Marking: Current Practices and Future Possibilities”, a new Small Arms Survey Issue Brief, provides practical and technical insight into the process of marking ammunition and reviews new technologies, current regulations, global trends and regional approaches.


Ecumenical Campaign for a Strong and Robust Arms Trade Treaty


The Ecumenical Campaign for a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty is a cooperative initiative convened by the World Council of Churches.  The first phase of this campaign and lobby took place from October to December 2011 with special support from the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations. 

AEFJN participates at the ecumenical working group on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).


A Lethal Legacy: Small Arms Flows in Urban and Rural Kenya 

Kinshasa-based photographer Gwenn Dubourthoumieu present a series of photos made in Kenya to victims of violence. Gwenn has received numerous awards for his compassionate portrayal of victims of conflict and violence.

View the photo essay on Urban and Rural Kenya:

View the photo essay on South-Sudan before the secession:

Arms continue to kill in DRCongo:


Arms imports to sub-Saharan Africa
‘small but significant’

Arms flows to sub-Saharan Africa have major implications for peace and security in the region, despite seeming small on a global scale. A new report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) provides details of arms transfers in the period 2006-2010. Significant numbers of small arms were supplied to both governments and rebel forces, including at least 220 000 assault rifles to 34 countries in the region. However, it is difficult to determine the exact volume of trade as most transfers to sub-Saharan African countries are not reported by the importers to the United Nations… and there is a lack of transparency by arms suppliers and recipients in arms procurement.


Next Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence:

11- 17 June 2011

The Global Week of Action against Gun Violence 2012 will take place from the 11-17 June. Every year, activists from all over the world join the Week of Action, demonstrating the strength of the global movement against gun violence. With the upcoming Review Conference on the UN Programme of Action on small arms and the final negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), this year’s campaign will be more important than ever to highlight the small arms issue.

More information and materials are available at


Private security and security companies in peacekeeping operations

Should private military and security companies be involved in peacekeeping in Africa’s war-torn regions? As private companies, their vested interests may not coincide with those of the countries or organisations that employ them. In this monograph of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), South Africa, five African analysts debate the merits and pitfalls, morality and politics, accountability and legal issues, of using private operators in African peacekeeping efforts. It makes the case for a legal framework that can regulate these actors and hold them liable for serious violations of international humanitarian law.


Ammunition Marking

A new Small Arms Survey Issue Brief—Ammunition Marking: Current Practices and Future Possibilities—examines marking as it relates to the tracing of cartridge-based ammunition—such as that used in pistols, rifles, shotguns, and machine guns—and its packaging. The notion of a universally applied mandate to mark individual cartridges, to allow their identification even when removed from sealed factory boxes, is controversial. As a result, ammunition control measures in general, and ammunition-marking provisions, have been excluded from any global instrument. But different regional, sub-regional, and national marking and classification systems have been established, creating multiple standards and practices.


A Deadly Cycle: Conflict in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria


Over the last decade, a political crisis in Jos, capital of Nigeria’s Plateau State, has developed into a widespread, protracted communal conflict. Up to 7,000 people have been killed since riots broke out in the city in late 2001, and ten years later a fragile calm in the city is kept only by the heavy presence of military and police forces. The tensions between ethnic groups have been exacerbated by a combination of conflict over the allocation of resources, electoral competition, fears of religious domination, and contested land rights. The presence of well-organized armed groups in rural areas, the proliferation of weapons, and the sharp rise in gun fatalities within Jos, all point to a risk of future large-scale violence. A Paper from the Geneva Declaration examines the root causes of conflict in Jos, mapping the spread of violence.


Security and Crime in Liberia

Within a 14-year period, Liberia endured two consecutive civil wars that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives, and displaced as many as 1.5 million people. Widespread collective violence in Liberia finally came to a halt with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in August 2003. In 2010, the Small Arms Survey administered a nationwide household survey in Liberia to investigate perceptions of security and present-day patterns of victimization, exposure to violence, and responses to threats in communities. In A Legacy of War? Perceptions of Security in Liberia respondents rate development concerns higher than safety concerns, with four-fifths of all responses raising concerns about access to clean water, health care, transportation, and education.


Nine out of ten violent deaths occur outside conflicts

An estimated 526,000 people die violently every year, but only 55,000 of them lose their lives in conflict or as a result of terrorism, reveals the second edition of the Global Burden of Armed Violence, published on 2011. The report also finds that 396,000 people—including 66,000 women—are victims of intentional homicide (murder), 54,000 die as a result of so-called ‘unintentional’ homicides (manslaughter), and 21,000 violent deaths occur during law enforcement actions. The boundaries between political, criminal, and interpersonal violence have become increasingly blurred, as revealed in cases of killings associated with drug trafficking in Central America or of pirates engaging in economically-motivated violence in Somalia.


Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites

Between January and October 2011 thirty-five unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) were recorded globally, bringing the number of such events since 1998 to a total of 302, across 76 states. The new Research Note of Small Arms Survey offers a concise overview of the problem, giving a breakdown of reported incidents by region and by cause, and outlines practical measures to reduce the likelihood of explosions. There are numerous causes for the explosions at munitions sites, including lack of technical knowledge, uneven attention to safety standards, poor storage practices, and poor infrastructure. While some solutions are expensive to implement and may require external assistance, many can be undertaken unilaterally and with modest investment. Reports of recent UEMS events:
Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites:


IANSA Survivors Network

IANSA has launched the IANSA Survivors Network to strengthen IANSA advocacy for survivors’ rights and gun violence prevention. From the early days of IANSA, members have advocated as, and for, victims and survivors of gun violence and worked to open spaces for survivors’ participation, particularly in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and Programme of Action on small arms (PoA) processes. Ce Réseau relies on the active participation of survivors as lobbyists and “sensitisers” on the direct and indirect effects of gun violence. The IANSA Survivors Network Coordinator is Hector Guerra




Churches to play crucial role in regulating
international arms trade

Churches have an important role to play in the lead-up to negotiations of a global treaty in 2012 to regulate the conventional arms trade. The World Council of Churches (WCC) leads an ecumenical initiative in 27 countries of which AEFJN is part, to help secure a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in 2012.


Small Arms Survey 2011: Gangs, Groups, and Guns

The Survey reviews a range of issues related to gangs and armed groups, focusing on their use of violence, as well as emerging efforts to prevent and curb the damage they inflict on society. The volume features also case studies from Ecuador and Southern Sudan and original research on the global ammunition trade and on options for controlling illicit firearm transfers by air. The private security industry has expanded to employ some 20 million persons worldwide—almost twice the number of police officers. Government outsourcing of many security functions appears to be driving the boom, among other factors. A review of data for 70 countries reveals that they hold no more than 4 million, compared to some 26 million held by law enforcement and 200 million held by armed forces.


African Union Strategy on Small Arms

The African Union met in Lomé, Togo 26-30 September 2011, to discuss small arms control through the ‘Draft African Union Strategy on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), Ammunition, Explosives and Related Materials’ and to develop an African Common Position on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).  IANSA sponsored 13 members from Burkina Faso, Chad, DR Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and Zambia to participate in the meeting and provide states with civil society input.

Small Arms Transfers - Exporting States

The annual authorized trade in ‘small arms’ is estimated to exceed USD 7 billion a year. A new Small Arms Survey Research Note—Small Arms Transfers: Exporting States—offers an assessment of those countries with small arms exports of the greatest value. States report on their arms transfers very unevenly, with some being very transparent, and others highly secretive. At least 16 countries have exported more than USD 100 million worth of small arms in 2011.  The country with the largest recorded exports is the United States, followed by Italy and Germany.  Exports do not only reflect production: they often involve trans-shipments or disposal of surplus weapons.

More on Exporters:

Authorized Trade:


African participation at the Third Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Preparatory Committee

The African Group at the Preparatory meeting towards the Arms Trade Treaty at the UN, New York (11-15 July 2011) called for an ATT that would address the following: enhancement of the controls on global arms production, storing and trade; effective deterrents to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit trade in conventional weapons; assistance in preventing national and regional instability caused by the proliferation of and easy access to illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW). African States and African civil society were vocal and visible and the following article presents the African perspective at this meeting. AEFJN is a member of IANSA, the International Action Network on small arms, a global movement against gun violence.


Survey of conflict in West Africa

The results of a survey on the risk of conflict in West African Countries have been released by BEFORE, an organisation based in Switzerland. The survey is based on interviews with more than 60 West African experts, aiming to collect data for early warning and conflict prevention, and evaluating the peacebuilding potential in each country.


Anxiety as more Kenyans in urban centres and villages acquire illegal guns

Kenyans fearing attack are arming themselves with illegal guns, a new survey shows. The majority of the firearms are found among pastoral communities perennially faced with the threat of banditry. But in recent months Kenyans in urban areas and those in rural areas have acquired weapons to protect themselves against gangsters and other threats.


How best to remove guns from post-conflict zones?


Reintegration, the process through which ex-combatants leave their fighting units to resume civilian life within their families and communities, is the most important aspect of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process. The study “Reintegrating ex-combatants in the Great lakes region: Lessons learned” by Nelson Alusala analyses some of these programs.


Eastern Africa - Training for civil society and
National Focal Points

On 7 September, National Focal Points and civil society representatives from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda completed a month training of trainers on gender and small arms in Kampala, Uganda. It was organised by the Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) to create awareness on the gender dimensions of small arms, and to develop the capacities of participants to conduct their own trainings on the issues.


Civilians can own guns in Rwanda

Civilians are allowed to own guns as long as they seek permission from the National police and pay the designated annual fee, according to a law backed by a Presidential Order, (30 May), which outlines the requirements needed for one to qualify to own a gun.


Malawi: Amnesty International condemns use of firearms against protesters

Amnesty International has condemned the use of firearms by police against protesters in Malawi. At least 18 people were killed and 44 injured by gunshots during anti-government demonstrations on 20-21 July. Amnesty International’s Africa asked the Malawian authorities to launch immediately an independent, impartial and thorough investigation into the use of firearms resulting in these killings. The UN Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials states that security forces must not use firearms except where there is no less extreme means of defence against an imminent threat of death or serious injury or to prevent crimes causing grave threat to life.

The EU arms embargo on Sudan

The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur has been overlooked recently because the international community has been focusing on the popular revolts in North Africa in the first half of the year and South Sudan’s peaceful referendum on secession from northern Sudan, and the subsequent violence in and over the contested Abyei region. In December 2010, however, fighting in Darfur resumed and has continued ever since thus causing widespread human rights violations in the troubled region.


Somalia/Kenya: Women fleeing famine
at risk from armed sexual violence

Women and girls attempting to flee the famine in Somalia are at risk of being abducted and forced into marriage by armed groups, or face rape and other forms of sexual violence in refugee camps. The UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström asked for services to minimise the risks facing women and girls. In Kenya, IANSA women of the Frontier Indigenous Network continue to work with the government to monitor crossing points along the Somali border to provide secure transport to the refugee camps and track the movement of small arms.


Burundi: Mass shooting in bar kills more than 40 people

On 18 September, armed men entered a bar in Gatumba, Burundi, shooting and killing at least 40 people. It is one of the most deadly attacks in the country since the end of the civil war, which left more than 300,000 people killed and an estimated 200 000 illegal weapons in civilian hands. This event follows a series of similar incidents and adds to a trend of increasing levels of violence and insecurity since the controversial elections in May 2010. As a result, many civilians are again taking up arms, reversing the effects of a Government disarmament programme that ended in 2009.


Dates for 2012’s meetings on an Arms Trade Treaty

The fourth Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) will be from 13-17 February 2012 in New York.

The final Negotiating Conference will be held from 2-27 July 2012, also in New York.


New report from Colonie des Pionniers de Développement (CPD) in Burundi

“Colonie des Pionniers de Développement (CPD)” an IANSA member in Burundi, has published a new report outlining their activities in the second trimester of 2011. It includes an overview of the current extent of armed violence in Burundi; a summary of the activities CPD, such as the installation of ‘suggestion boxes’ and the training of women leaders; and a set of recommendations for the national government.


Weaponry stockpiles poorly secured

The article of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) shows the devastating effects of poorly secured weapons and ammunition stockpiles in many developing countries  that put thousands of lives at risk. The chain of explosions the night of 16th February in Tanzania at the Gongo la Mboto military base, situated in a densely populated area, killed 24 people and  more than 300 were injured in the blasts.


Different documents on weapons now available in French and Spanish

The Women’s Network Bulletin 25: ‘Women at Work: Preventing Gun Violence’ is now available in French, Portuguese and Spanish

The Small Arms Survey 2010: ‘Gangs, groups and guns’ is now available in French:


UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security

First Committee (3 October–1 November) is an annual assembly of UN member states which proposes and adopts resolutions on disarmament and international security.  It presents an important opportunity for IANSA members to reach out and raise awareness on the issue of small arms. As the designated coordinator of civil society participation in the UN process on small arms, IANSA is present at First Committee to follow and report on developments, participate in side events and coordinate NGO presentations. More


Killer facts: impact of irresponsible arms trade on lives

According to the report “Killer facts: the impact of the irresponsible arms trade on lives, rights and livelihoods”, about 60 per cent of serious human rights violations documented by Amnesty International over a 10 year period involved the use of small arms and light weapons. IANSA, as part of the Control Arms Campaign, is campaigning for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that can prevent arms transfers if they are likely to contribute to violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. A report by IANSA and Amnesty International outlines how an ATT can help prevent gun violence and human right violations.


Military, religious groups and civil society meet in Central African Republic

Mur-Africa Universel an IANSA member, held a series of successful events in the Central African Republic, including meetings with military officers, the Muslim community, a Catholic and a Baptist Church. The events were held in connection with the Global Week of Action against Gun Violence, and focused on the themes of the Week including gender and the protection of women. The opening event was held in Bangui and attended by government officials, representatives of NGOs and the international community, and featured a number of presentations on the topic “Everyone against armed violence!”


Report on aviation companies and arms transfers

IANSA member TransArms and research institute International Peace Information Service (IPIS) have released a report on the role of private aviation companies in arms transfers. It includes an analysis of international and national laws on the transport of weapons by air, and includes case studies that document the involvement of aviation companies in supplies of arms which contributed to human rights violations.

1105 NEWS ON SMALL ARMS – May 2011

National Reports on control of small arms

The UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (UN PoA) was adopted in 2001. Every two years there is a Meeting of States to report on its implementation. Since 2001, 554 national reports have been submitted by signatories. The Analysis of National Reports 2009–10 realized by Small Arms Survey provides a comprehensive analysis of information on: the prevention and combat of illicit trade in small arms across borders; international cooperation and assistance; strengthening of the Programme of Action; and implementation of the International Tracing Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (ITI).


Towards the ATT - Meeting of Governmental Experts on small arms

From 9 to 13 May 2011, states gathered for the first time in an open-ended meeting of government experts (MGE) to address key implementation challenges and opportunities in the UN small arms process. This particular MGE has focussed on:  Record-keeping; Cooperation in tracing; National frameworks; Regional cooperation; and International assistance and capacity building on small arms and light weapons. The goal of the meeting was sharing of information, experiences, lessons learned, good practices, and challenges and opportunities, with the goal of supporting enhanced national and regional implementation of the International Tracing Instrument.

IANSA the Network of Small arms of which AEFJN is a member, has monitored the meeting and summarise the expert debate taking place in plenary sessions. 


  The Scope of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

The UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) organised a conference on ’The Scope of an Arms Trade Treaty: How to Keep the Treaty Adaptable to Technological Developments’. Audio files from the meeting are available online:

Article on arms control and violence against women

An opinion piece ‘Limit Arms Exports to Reduce Violence against Women’ by IANSA woman Rebecca Gerome has been published as part of the competition "Empowering Women in International Relations." held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Read the article:

Preparations for the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence

Preparations for the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, 13-19 June are well underway in over 50 countries. The Week of Action has its own logo this year and this is available on the IANSA website. Also available is a ‘style sheet’ demonstrating ways in which the logo can be used to give your activities an identity within our global movement, and to make our presence even stronger during the Week. To view the logo, visit

  Portugal - UN Firearms Protocol ratified

On 6 May, Portugal ratified the UN Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition, also known as the 'Firearms Protocol'. The Protocol commits UN Member States to regulate the manufacture, export, import and transit of firearms. It also requires firearms to be marked and records to be kept for 10 years, and encourages (but does not require) the regulation of arms brokers. The Protocol does not regulate state-to-state gun transfers. To find out if your country has ratified the Firearms Protocol, click go to:


South Sudan - Police service receives
arms marking equipment

The Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) for the Nairobi Protocol (14 countries of East Africa and Great Lakes region) has given two arms marking machines to the Southern Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control. In March 2011, RECSA visited Juba, Southern Sudan, to monitor progress and re-train staff on the maintenance of the machines. 40,700 firearms belonging to the Southern Sudan Police Service have been marked so far.

  IANSA Africa coordinator activities

Joseph Dube, Africa Coordinator, is discussing plans with UNDP to mark the 10th anniversary of the UNPoA which will specifically support country level activities of IANSA members, and research on the impact of the UNPoA on women in Africa. Joseph also provided input into legal reforms in Tanzania; worked with the South African Coalition of NGOs to lobby Mozambique, Zimbabwe and SADC in relation to arms bound for Zimbabwe; began planning for a joint seminar on Disarm Domestic Violence with the Embassy of Finland in South Africa; and worked with IANSA members CECORE to develop a research idea for the Great Lakes Region.


1104 NEWS on SMALL ARMS - April 2011

New report on small arms by the UN Secretary-General

The UN Secretary-General, has submitted the second report on small arms, to facilitate the work of the Security Council on small arms and support the implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA). This report gives special attention to the trade in ammunition, problems connected with storage and the importance of tracing ammunition found in conflict settings. It also includes observations and recommendations on trade and brokering, marking, record-keeping and tracing of weapons, stockpile management, armed violence and the use and misuse of small arms.


Small Arms Survey paper on trade in surplus ammunition

The Small Arms Survey has published the paper “Scraping the Barrel: The Trade in Surplus Ammunition” on the international trade in surplus ammunition. It includes detailed case studies of transfers of ammunition within conflict zones in West Africa and the Great Lakes region.


Gunpolicy website has launched a new tool on their website for comparing gun facts and policies. This is a contribution to measuring the impact and implementation of the UN Programme of Action on small arms (UNPoA).



Sierra Leone Child Soldiers “Out of the bush”

It's been nine years since 2002, when one of the most brutal and bloody wars with an army of child soldiers ended. Is Sierra Leone really peaceful today? The writer interviews 70 former combatants including girls (mostly child soldiers) to let them talk about their war experiences of child soldiers and their post-conflict reintegration in society. While disarmament was successful, demobilisation and, especially, reintegration programmes had a number of flaws - skills training mostly lasted only a few months and the reintegration period too was short-lived. Nonetheless, it is remarkable that Sierra Leone, did not slip back into conflict.

Religions for Peace Briefs UN Security Council
on Somalia

Somalia has been suffering from an on-going civil war for 20 years. Current drought is worsening the situation for millions of people. The United Nations has been trying to resolve the conflict through Transitional Federal Government (TFG), but its transitional period is coming to an end in Autumn 2011 with no resolution in sight. The African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ACRL RfP) has facilitated together with some of its partners a process for Somali religious and traditional leaders to share their observations and recommendations on the peace process with the international community.

Southern Sudan - Launch of two new sub-national action networks

Two new sub-national action networks on small arms have been launched in the Southern Sudanese states of Warrap and Central Equatoria under the Southern Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA). The networks were launched during two civil society consultations on the small arms problem in Warrap (Central Equatoria). The high level of insecurity matches the inflow of arms. Since the origin of the threats is domestic, domestic efforts to address the small arms problem are needed.

Statement on draft arms trade law in France

Amnesty International France, CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Oxfam France have released a statement on a recently proposed draft law on the import and export of conventional arms. The statement calls for French laws to to respect export criteria as stated in the EU common position on the control of arms. Read the statement in French:


Mali - National project for 'Schools without arms'


The National Commission on Small Arms launched the new national project 'For a School without Arms' at a public conference in Mali. The project was developed in cooperation with several Ministries, the Association of Pupils and Students in Mali (EMEA) and civil society organisations, including IANSA members Réseau des Journalistes pour la Sécurité et le Développement en Afrique de l’Ouest (RJSDAO) and the West African Action Network on Small Arms - Mali. The objective of the project is to raise awareness amongst school administrators, students and parents, about the dangers related to the presence of guns in schools and universities, and create an environment in schools that is secure and conducive to studies.

In French:

DR Congo - Seminar on the Disarm Domestic Violence campaign

On 28-31 March in DR Congo, UN Women initiated consultations in North and South Kivu on women's contribution to the development of national policies. As part of this, IANSA member Femmes des Médias pour la Justice au Congo (FMJC) organised a seminar to raise awareness about armed violence in the home and the Disarm Domestic Violence campaign. Participants included delegates from national and international NGOs, and provincial authorities including a representative of the Ministry of Gender.

1103 NEWS on SMALL ARMS – March 2011

Africa gets stronger on the International Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at the UN!

At the UN in New York, the 1st March 2011, was devoted to the parameters of ATT. France, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, but also Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal said that ... "the paper presented to States on the future ATT will not be of much utility if it is not consolidated”. Their statements sound like a practical response to the violence caused by an insufficient control in international arms transfers. The ATT, that will be the first major treaty of the XXI century, will be a concrete indication of the new power of African states. Until now, the continent could feel neglected or even on the sidelines because of a persistent differential between the international community’s discourse and its practical commitment on the field of arms control.

(en français, entrée du 3/3/11)


Report on armed violence prevention in Burundi

A report on the ‘Action, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Prevention and Control of Armed Violence in Burundi’ by IANSA member Colonie des Pioniers de Développement (CPD) has been published on their website.


Blog on the ATT negotiations in French

Armer Désarmer

The new blog ‘Armer Desarmer’ provides information and reports from the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations in French, and pictures from events during the ATT Preparatory Committee which took place at the UN from 28 February to 4 March.


Crisis Group report on Ivory Coast

L-R: Gbagbo, Quattara Photo: The New dispensation

Crisis Group has issued a report on Cote d’Ivoire and the risk of an outbreak of armed conflict involving massive violence against civilians. It includes recommendations for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and neighbouring countries to prevent delivery of arms and ammunition in violation of the current embargo on and provide surveillance of the border to prevent the passage of mercenaries and weapons.


ATT PrepCom concludes

The second session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) concluded on 4 March. On 2 March, ‘Saving Lives: Preventing Gun Violence through the Arms Trade Treaty’, an event organised by IANSA, Amnesty International and ForUM, was attended by more than 120 people, including delegates from more than 20 UN Member States. Statements and analysis of the PrepCom by members of Control Arms are available from the Reaching Critical Will website. The forthcoming IANSA UN Bulletin will contain more details on IANSA specific themes including: small arms; ammunition; gender; and international cooperation and assistance.


DR Congo - 24,000 foreign ex-combatants repatriated since 2002

More than 24,000 foreign ex-combatants have been demobilised and repatriated from the DR Congo by the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) since 2002. Last year, 1,165 foreign ex-combatants surrendered to the Mission’s programme for ‘Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement’ (DDR/RR). Most of these had been combatants from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a militia group known to have recruited children as soldiers. 645 child soldiers were among the demobilised ex-combatants.


Arms transfers control in French-speaking States of sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, perhaps more than elsewhere, the lack of common international standards on arms transfers fuel armed violence, whether in war or in crime, and represents a serious obstacle to economic and social development. While the UN Member States are now engaged in negotiating an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), this GRIP Report provides an overview of the national regulations and practices in the French-speaking States of sub-Saharan Africa. It shows that, in general, these countries do not rely on transfers control systems in line with the current realities of the international arms trade. The lack of transparency and the deficiencies of these systems (or their inexistence) have, on several occasions, facilitated irresponsible or even illegal arms transfers. Nevertheless, many African sub-regions have recently adopted ambitious legal instruments to control small arms and light weapons. These regional instruments can have an important influence in the discussions on the ATT. Finally, the report highlights the challenges that the ATT poses for these countries.

Report [2010-5_EN]


Kenya - KANSA calls for commitment to the Nairobi Declaration  

In view of the preparation by the Government of Kenya to mark the 11th anniversary of the Nairobi Declaration on 15 March, the Kenya Action Network on Small Arms (KANSA) held a consultative meeting. The aim was to review the situation of small arms proliferation in the country and legal frameworks to manage and control it. The observations made in the meeting were presented in a press release. Included in this is a recommendation to the government, urging it to “Fully commit to and implement the Nairobi Declaration and the Nairobi Protocol with specific reference to the ‘Best Practice Guidelines’ tool, and to the United Nations Programme of Action on Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPOA)”.

The selling of arms “kill” in the Arab countries

In most Arab countries where the revolts have taken place, security forces attacked unarmed demonstrators killing and injuring many.  In Libya the government is using warplanes and tanks to bomb civilians. TV has shown security forces and civilians using Belgian guns. Most of those letal weapons come from Western countries that say to defend democracy.

Read more …

1102 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.


AEFJN Report - Arms Exports and Transfers from AFRICA to AFRICA

Although intra-continental weapons transfers are not well-documented there are some general trends that have developed over the years. Small arms and light weapons (SALW) are the most commonly used weapons in violent conflicts in all African regions. Groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, various Somali factions across the Horn of Africa, and the post-election violence in Kenya are further incited by the omnipresence of illegally-trafficked Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Most of these weapons are second-hand and/or refurbished equipment.

Read more …

AEFJN Report Arms exports and Transfers: EUROPE to AFRICA

Selling and transferring arms to the African market is a very profitable endeavor for many European countries and companies. For example, Russia, the second largest arms exporter after the United States, sent 14% of its arms and weapons exports for 2005-2009 to Africa, its second largest market. In the same time period, German arms exports to Africa increased by 100% from 2000-2004, and French exports increased by 30%. It is important to note that a majority of the defense materials, aircraft, and vehicles that are sent to Africa are refurbished or second-hand; many are remnants of Cold War era militarization, particularly the arms from Eastern European countries such as Ukraine.

Read more …

1101 News on Small Arms – January 2010

1101 News on Small Arms – January 2010

European meeting on Small arms and light weapons (SALW)

AEFJN with many other organizations working on small arms in Europe attended the annual meeting between NGOs and European Union officials working on arms trade issues (COARM) at the end of 2010, in Brussels, Belgium.

During day 1, a series of hypothetical arms transfer cases were analysed with a risk assessment exercise against the criteria contained in the EU Common Position on arms transfers to identify whether a license should or should not be granted.

Day 2 focused on NGO planning and strategy for the upcoming year around a range of themes including developing a robust ATT and further strengthening the EU Common Position. Bruce Millar, Campaigns and Outreach Coordinator participated, funded by Saferworld.

EU funding to fight illicit small arms

The European Union has granted 500,000 Euro to the Regional Centre on Small Arms in Eastern Africa (RECSA) to coordinate a project aimed at enhancing the role of civil society and national efforts against illicit small arms. This grant is in addition to the 3.3 million Euro granted to RECSA in March 2010 for the 1st Pan-African Project on small arms.


'Grey List' of Finnish arms exports

Arms exports from Finland to 26 countries in 2008 may have been in conflict with EU policy according to a new report from SaferGlobe Finland. Based on EU criteria and other guidelines for arms exports, the report includes a 'Grey List' of recipient countries including Afghanistan, China and Israel. "We are questioning whether it is in line with Finland's foreign policy to send weapons to these kinds of countries", said Jarmo Pykaelae of SaferGlobe.


Report on arms transfers to conflict zones in Africa

Two recent reports by SIPRI conclude that greater responsibility for arms transfers to conflict zones in Africa must be taken by arms suppliers including potential arms supplying states. The reports highlight the limitations of attempts by the UN to control the flows of arms into two African conflict zones-the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Somalia.


Third Preparatory Committees (PrepComs) at the UN in view of the ATT

Later this month (February 2011), UN member states will attend the third of four Preparatory Committees (PrepComs) with the aim of preparing the ground for agreement on an international legally-binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in 2012.  The 2012 negotiations will represent the culmination of 15 years of campaigning by NGOs, parliamentarians, Nobel Laureates and victims of armed violence.

The poorly regulated trade in arms fuels conflict, destabilises entire regions, undermines sustainable development and contributes to human rights abuses and violations of international law.  While states have a right to self-defence and a legitimate need to retain arms for defence and security, poor regulation of the trade has devastating consequences.  Approximately two thousand people die each day as a result of armed violence, with many more injured, displaced or traumatised.

NEWS on SMALL ARMS - November 2010

D.R. Congo: 300,000 weapons in the hands of civilians

300,000 weapons are held by civilians in the east of D.R. Congo, according to a new report by Groupe de recherche et d'information sur la paix et la sécurité (GRIP, Brussels) and the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC). In a study of 10,000 households in five Eastern Congolese provinces or districts, the report found that more than one family in eight had experienced armed assault over a six month period. In a press release, the authors said the report "Should help to provide a basis for an action plan for disarming civilians throughout the D.R. Congo".


Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons

300,000 weapons are held by civilians in the east of D.R. Congo, according to a new report by Groupe de recherche et d'information sur la paix et la sécurité (GRIP, Brussels) and the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC). In a study of 10,000 households in five Eastern Congolese provinces or districts, the report found that more than one family in eight had experienced armed assault over a six month period. In a press release, the authors said the report "Should help to provide a basis for an action plan for disarming civilians throughout the D.R. Congo".


The Report Rhetoric or Restrain?


On the 23th November, a group of the European coalition on arms launched the report “Rhetoric or Restrain? Trade in military equipment under the EU transfer control system. A Report to the EU Presidency. The report is a kind of “black book” on arms exported from the EU to conflicting countries. They are cases where the European decision-makers appear to have forgotten that EU States are obliged to base decisions on the conduct of the recipient and against the risj that certain negative consequences may ensue, as set out in the EU Code/Common Position criteria, a principle to which licensing authorities are recommended to return.

Find the report...

Southern Sudan: Upper Nile State action network on small arms established

On 6 November, The Upper Nile State Action Network on Small Arms (UNANSA) was established during a workshop in the northern border town of Malakal in Southern Sudan. The workshop focused on small arms and security in relation to the referendum on the independence of Southern Sudan scheduled for January 2011. The Southern Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA) organised the event with support from Saferworld. Geoffrey Duke of SSANSA said, “The participants considered it necessary to establish a strong network in Upper Nile state that will be able to address issues relating to cross border conflicts associated with the availability of guns”. SSANSA is planning to facilitate the establishment of similar state ‘ANSAs’ in all the ten states of Southern Sudan.

Kenya: Policeman on shooting spree raises concern about armed officials

10 people were killed when a policeman went on a shooting spree with a G3 assault rifle in Siakango, Kenya on 6 November. Two of his colleagues were among the victims. The Kenya Action Network on Small Arms (KANSA) said the incident raises concern about the handling of official firearms in Kenya, and the threat posed by the proliferation and misuse of small arms in general. They said, ”KANSA will keep monitoring the situation and take pro-active measures to enlist the support of stakeholders with a view to ensuring that the situation is contained”.


Court victory for South Africa Firearms Act

Gun Free South Africa applauds a High Court decision confirming that the National Firearms Act is constitutional and that the state does not have to pay compensation for voluntarily surrendered guns.


Paper on arms control in Africa

The Institute for Security Studies has released a new issue of ‘Arms Control: Africa’. It focuses on recent arms control developments undertaken by African states including the adoption of the Kinshasa Convention on small arms control in Central Africa.


NEWS on SMALL ARMS - November 2010

NEWS on SMALL ARMS - November 2010

News on Small Arms - October 2010

Central Africa: New regional action network on small arms established

We are delighted to announce that the Central African Action Network on Small Arms - (CAANSA) / Réseau d'Action sur les Armes Légères en Afrique Central (RASALAC) was launched on 1 October in Libreville, Gabon.  Eugine Nyuydine Ngalim from Cameroon, the General Secretary of the new network said "The creation of the Central African Action Network on Small Arms is a dream come true after several previous attempts to set up such a network". He emphasised CAANSA's commitment to combat the illicit proliferation of small arms and armed violence in the region.

Read more …

Ghana: 1500 firearms destroyed


1500 locally produced firearms have been destroyed in Asuki, Ghana. The National Commission on Small Arms (NatCom) organised the destruction, in collaboration with the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council and UNDP. Baffour Amoa of The West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) attended the event. A local council member said "Local manufacturing of guns has been a source of worry to the government because according to police, over 80 per cent of crimes in the country are committed using locally produced guns". Since 2001, 3,387 illicit small arms have been destroyed by the NatCom.

Read more …

20 million signatures for 'Arms Down' Campaign

20 million people from 140 countries have signed a petition calling on all governments to stop the proliferation and misuse of conventional weapons, and reallocate 10% of their military budgets to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Global Youth Network of Religions for Peace initiated the petition, which was handed to H.E. Mr. Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament in a ceremony at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York this week.

Read more …

The Religions for Peace at the UN Hearing on MDGs

The Religions for Peace side event of the UN Hearing on MDGs took place on June 15. Mr. Erick Lutambwe presented the Arms Down! Campaign and the proposed UNGA Resolution. As both the UN Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and the UN Hearing on MDGs took place the same week in New York, the audience included experts and practitioners from both fields. The effort to highlight the relationship between disarmament and development in general, and military spending and MDGs in particular, was well appreciated.

Read more …

Parliamentary Conference on Small Arms for West Africa

An Inter-Parliamentary Conference for West Africa was held in Monrovia, Liberia from the 1-2 October. The Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Lights Weapons organised the event in collaboration with the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, and the Liberian House of Representatives. 20 parliamentarians from 10 West African countries participated, along with government representatives, experts and representatives from civil society.

Read more …

SALW control through radio broadcasting in Africa

On 13 September, Peter J. Croll of Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), IANSA members in Germany, gave a presentation at the General Assembly of the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA) in Luanda, Angola. He was invited to speak on "SALW control through radio broadcasting in Africa?" and the role of media in conflict.


Gun Free South Africa campaign awarded

Gun Free South Africa has been aarded the prestigious Loerie Awards for its "Umshini Wakho" campaign, part of a project exploring how to use mass media in the work to reduce gun violence. An inspiring video is available on the IANSA Youtuve channel. 

Reade more...

Sudan Facts and Figures

 The Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) of the Small Arms Survey has posted updates on their 'Sudan Facts and Figures' web resource including new pages on Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration in Sudan and its implementation.

Read more... 

Women, Peace and Security

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has released the September 2010 Monthly Action Points (MAP) on Women, Peace and Security for the UN Security Council. This month the MAP provides recommendations on country situations such as Afghanistan, DRC, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

Reade more...

Southern Sudan: Government arms militias for 'self-defence'

The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) is arming a vigilante group in response to attacks from Lord's Resistance Army rebels. Camlus Omogo of IKV Pax Christi said this "contradicts the call by the GoSS for civilian disarmament". Richard Mugisha, Executive Director of the Eastern Africa Action Network on Small Arms (EAANSA) said "this is in total disregard of the Nairobi Protocol, the UN Programme of Action on small arms, and international law". He continued, "EAANSA calls upon the GoSS to adhere to the principals of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. We urge them to seek support from the international community to curb violence and arms trafficking in the region using peaceful means".

Reade more...

Gabon signs UN Firearms Protocol

On 22 September Gabon signed the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) applauded the accession and said "Trafficking in firearms in Central Africa is fuelling conflict . and increases the risk of violence against women and the recruitment of child soldiers". He added "Without peace and security, development cannot take root and grow. This makes halting illicit trade in firearms all the more urgent".


Cote d'Ivoire campaign for weapons-free election

The Cote d'Ivoire section of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA-CI), in collaboration with the National Commission to Combat the Proliferation and Illicit Circulation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, has launched a campaign for elections free from armed violence. The campaign, with the slogan 'My weapon is my vote' will run until the election, scheduled for 31 October.

Reade more...

2010 SIPRI Yearbook summary is now available

 The 2010 SIPRI Yearbook summary is now available in Swedish, Catalan and Dutch.


To download or buy online go to

News on Small Arms - September 2010

1009 The limitations of European Union reports on arms exports


Since 1991–92, when the European Council adopted eight criteria against which EU member states agreed to assess their arms exports, there has been a concerted effort to develop harmonized arms export policies among EU member states.

Read more …

A South African view of the arms trade

This year the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from jail. This is an occassion to reflect on how the arms trade has undermined the very institutions of democracy that Mandela and hundreds of thousands of others sacrificed so much to achieve.

Read more …

100625 Continent’s guns to go silent

 tl_files/aefjn-images/im_arms/im_arms_camp/0921Dayof peace.jpg

To mark 2010 as the year of peace and security the African Union has asked all guns in the continent to go silent on September 21, the International Peace Day. The AU Commission challenges everyone across the continent to be quiet for one minute and to reflect on peace between nations and non-violence in our homes, communities and schools in order to provide a very strong impetus to promote peace permanently.

Read more …

International Coalition for the Decade of Peace


The International Coalition for the Decade calls for the celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21st and the International Day of Non-Violence on October 2nd 2010. Two days to celebrate and observe peace. Celebrate these days by bearing the symbols of peace, and by participating in events. 

Read more …

100909 "A Million Minutes for Peace" Initiative


"A Million Minutes for Peace" campaign asks those around the world concerned with peace to pause and pray for peace for one minute, when clocks strike noon on the International Day of Peace (September 21). A quiet but worldwide phenomenon is expected.

Read more …

News on Small Arms - July 2010


South Africa: Celebrating a Gun Free World Cup

Despite concerns over South Africa's high rate of violent crime and gun violence there were few incidents during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a fact celebrated by the National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele. IANSA's 'Gun Free World Cup' campaign highlighted the importance of the gun ban in football stadiums for the duration of the tournament and raised awareness about the impact of gun violence. Now IANSA members are preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil to build on the success enjoyed by South Africa.


Read more …