Briefing Paper

Paving the Way to Silencing the Guns in Africa: Interventions, Challenges and Options in the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapon

“The proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and their abuse have been identified as a major trigger and accelerator of conflicts in Africa. It has negative impact on human security as well as security at the community, national, and regional levels, and in turn on development. In response, Africa‚Äôs leaders have been galvanising collective political will to overcome this phenomenon. Their efforts led to the emergence of frameworks aimed at systematising the response against the proliferation of arms. The Declaration on the Moratorium on the Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Light Weapons in ECOWAS member States of 1998 and the Code of Conduct for the Implementation of the Moratorium was one of the early frame works. Others have been launched and African countries are also implementing related global efforts such as the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA) and lately, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). It is noteworthy that African leaders also recently adopted Agenda 2063: The Future We Want for Africa. This is a new and versatile initiative that links good governance, security and development and non-proliferation of SALW. This paper examines the challenges, the opportunities and the options in the action against proliferation of SALW.”