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15.12.2017 : 22:42 : +0100

Trafficking at the Tunisian-Libyan border, and small-calibre ammunition in Libya

Two new reports from the Security Assessment in North Africa

The circulation of small arms and ammunition in and around Libya are a concern for security in the region. Two new reports from the Security Assessment in North Africa, a Small Arms Survey project, investigate (1) the trade and trafficking of small arms at the border between Libya and Tunisia, and (2) the likely provenance and use of small-calibre ammunition found in Libya.

On the Edge? Trafficking and Insecurity at the Tunisian–Libyan Border investigates how the Libyan armed conflict and its aftermath have affected the security situation in Tunisia, particularly in light of the circulation of firearms and infiltrations by armed groups.

As the circulation of Libyan small arms and light weapons in Tunisia cannot be adequately understood without a closer look at the tribal structures behind informal trade and trafficking networks in the border region, this Working Paper examines how the Libyan revolution affected such structures in the Jefara region.

Despite the weakening of the Tunisian security apparatus and the ongoing effects of the armed conflict in Libya, the use of firearms connected to crime and political violence has remained relatively low in Tunisia. Even in light of recent assassinations of two prominent leftist politicians and regular armed clashes between violent extremists, the military, and security forces on the Algerian–Tunisian border, the use of firearms remains the exception rather than the rule.

In Tunisia, firearms trafficking currently exists in the form of small-scale smuggling. However, larger smuggling operations have been discovered and tied  to Algeria-based violent extremist networks—such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb—which have infiltrated the country.

'Small-calibre Ammunition in Libya: An Update', a new online Dispatch from the Security Assessment in North Africa,  examines a 21 examples of small-calibre ammunition documented in Libya in 2011, 2012, and 2013, building on the results documented in Working Paper 16, The Headstamp Trail: An Assessment of Small-calibre Ammunition Found in Libya.   

This additional set of documented cartridges expands the knowledge base on the headstamps of small-calibre ammunition in circulation in Libya.

The Dispatch reviews recent developments in the general availability of ammunition in Libya and the broader sub-region, and analyses the newly documented ammunition.


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