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20.9.2019 : 4:01 : +0200

Armed groups seizing thousands of weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition from non-UN peace operations

GENEVA—A new report details efforts to improve weapons and ammunition management in non-United Nations (UN) peace operations in order to enhance force protection and mandate implementation.

More than 25 organizations apart from the UN have deployed more than 100 peace operations to date. These non-UN organizations face the same challenges as the UN in securing their contingent-owned equipment (COE) and the lethal materiel they recover. Non-UN peace operations may even be more vulnerable to these challenges than UN operations.

Thousands of small arms and light weapons as well as millions of rounds of ammunition have been lost in recent years as a result of attacks on fixed sites, patrols, and convoy movements. Forced abandonment of COE, burglary, theft, corruption, as well as poor discipline and practices also contribute to diversion of materiel.

The new Small Arms Survey report Beyond Blue Helmets: Promoting Weapons and Ammunition Management in Non-UN Peace Operations focuses on defining key terms, identifying the actors undertaking non-UN peacekeeping operations, and analyzing the challenges they face as well as the control measures that exist to mitigate the risks and reduce the loss of arms and ammunition. The report also highlights efforts some of these actors are presently undertaking to develop more effective checks and balances to enhance weapons and ammunition management (WAM) practices in peace operations, and suggests additional measures that could be undertaken towards these ends.


Authored by Eric G. Berman, Small Arms Survey Director, Beyond Blue Helmets: Promoting Weapons and Ammunition Management in Non-UN Peace Operations is a publication of the Survey’s Making Peace Operations More Effective (MPOME) project, with support from the Governments of Canada and Sweden.


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