n Conflict Trends - The challenges of small arms and light weapons in Africa

Volume 2009, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


On 25 September 2008, approximately 50 gunmen boarded and captured the MV Faina, a Ukrainian vessel loaded with tanks, small arms and light weapons. The cargo ship was originally thought to be bound for Mombasa, Kenya, but the United States (US) Navy later revealed that the weapons were bound for rebel groups in Southern Sudan, for use in the raging Sudanese conflict. Released by hijackers more than four months later, the MV Faina symbolises the power, influence and consequences of small arms and light weapons throughout Africa. Indeed, these deadly weapons are fundamental to conflict, crime and violence throughout the continent. This article provides an overview of current small arms trends in Africa. It examines the sources of African weaponry, contemporary trends in conflict and crime, and discusses potential responses to the ongoing concerns surrounding the proliferation of small arms in Africa.

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