SALW proliferation in Africa
In all current African wars, small arms are ubiquitous. Accessible to everyone, they commit dreadful ravages, which brought former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan to describe them as “weapons of mass destruction”. Since 2001, African countries have adopted regional legal instruments to combat this scourge. Nowadays, challenges lie in the harmonisation and implementation of these measures at a national level. Indeed, there is sometimes a lack of technical, financial and /or human capacity.
GRIP acquired proven expertise in the field and now values the efforts made by its African partners. Through different projects and expertise, GRIP follows on-going processes at a regional and sub-regional level:
• Regional legislations of SALW (ECOWAS, ECCAS, RECSA);
• Harmonisation of National SALW Legislations;
• Implementation of the international traceability instrument in Africa;
• Field studies on the circulation of SALW and their ammunitions.
Since 2001, GRIP has coordinated the “Réseau africain francophone sur les armes légères, la prévention des conflits et la construction de la paix” (French-Speaking African Network on Small Arms, Conflict Prevention, and Peace-building). RAFAL is a network designed to exchange information, research, train, publish and broadcast in order to enhance the capacity of the French-speaking African civil society. Its goal is to improve the common knowledge of small arms proliferation to prevent conflicts and build peace in Africa. At the moment, the network counts 80 members.