New report: Arms imports to sub-Saharan Africa ‘small but significant’

Arms flows to sub-Saharan Africa have major implications for peace and security in the region, despite seeming small on a global scale. In a new report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) provides details of arms transfers in the period 2006-2010 and finds that significant numbers of small arms were supplied to both governments and rebel forces, including at least 220 000 assault rifles to at least 34 countries in the region. However, Pieter Wezeman of SIPRI said it is difficult to determine the exact volume of trade as, “Most transfers to sub-Saharan African countries are not reported by the importers to the United Nations… A key challenge to understanding the motives for and impact of arms procurement in sub-Saharan Africa is the lack of transparency by arms suppliers and recipients”.