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Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in Sub-Saharan Africa: Using UN Reports on Arms Embargoes to Identify Sources, Challenges and Policy Measures

Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
December, 2022

This SIPRI Policy Report synthesizes the data on small arms and light weapons (SALW) diversion from the United Nations Panel of Experts reports on the five UN arms embargoes in place in sub-Saharan Africa in 2022—on the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan (Darfur region). The report provides a typology on the sources of illicit SALW in the states and regions under embargo and discusses the challenges of enforcing arms embargoes and possible policy solutions to address the various sources of illicit SALW in order to inform and support efforts to combat the proliferation of illicit arms.


1. Introduction

2. UN arms embargoes in sub-Saharan Africa: Reported violations and sources of illicit arms

3. Sources and types of diversion of illicit SALW in embargoed states and how to address them

4. Recommendations


Dr Andrea Edoardo Varisco is an Associate Senior Researcher at SIPRI.
Pieter D. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Alexandra Kuimova Alexandra Kuimova is a Researcher with UNIDIR’s Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme. She was previously a Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.