The African Union (AU) Commission, in partnership with the Small Arms Survey, co-organized the inception meeting on mapping illicit arms flows in Africa, on 13-14 June 2017, at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The mapping study is being undertaken within the framework of the 430th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council, held on 24 April 2014 under the theme “Silencing the Guns: Pre-requisites for Realising a Conflict-Free Africa by the Year 2020” which requested the Commission to undertake a comprehensive study on the flow of illicit weapons into and within Africa and submit to it the outcome of such a study.
The meeting brought together experts from Regional Economic Communities and Regional Bodies with a small arms mandate, UN agencies and research bodies, to assess the current state of knowledge on illicit arms flows in Africa and further refine the scope of the mapping study. The meeting identified potential challenges to undertaking the study and ways to surmount them, prioritized new field research, and agreed on the timelines for the validation of findings and launch.
The aim of the study is to generate concrete data to reveal patterns and trends in arms and ammunition inflows, diversion and illicit circulation, and gaps in control measures. This will further enable AU and RECs policy organs and Member States prevent the flow of illegal arms and ammunition into conflict zones, implement evidence-based policies and better measure progress and impact in line with the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by Year 2020.