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17.4.2021 : 22:14 : +0200

Identifying Sources: Small-calibre Ammunition in Côte d'Ivoire

More than a decade of instability and armed conflict in Côte d’Ivoire has resulted in the proliferation and of  weapons and ammunition held by both the government and the Forces Nouvelles rebel movement.

A new Special Report, Identifying Sources: Small-calibre Ammunition in Côte d'Ivoire, from the Small Arms Survey’s Security Assessment in North Africa project, in partnership with the Integrated Embargo Monitoring Unit (IEMU) of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI),  provides a baseline profile of the small arms and light weapons ammunition in circulation in Côte d’Ivoire.

The report presents the following findings:

  • Ammunition found in Côte d’Ivoire produced by many states. Examples include Western-standard ammunition dating as far back as colonial times and Eastern Bloc-standard ammunition produced from the 1950s to the first decade of the 21st century.
  • The bulk of the Soviet or Eastern Bloc-standard ammunition was imported during the Ivorian crisis that began in 2002 and had largely ended by 2011.
  • Ammunition that previously was not typically documented in African conflict and post-conflict settings can be found in Côte d’Ivoire. This includes ammunition produced in Sudan in 2010 and 2011.
  • Ammunition bearing identical markings to ammunition that was documented in Côte d’Ivoire has also been documented in eastern Liberia (2013) and Niger (2012). This suggests possible illicit circulation of the ammunition in the sub-region.

This study will assist stakeholders in identifying illicit ammunition that is newly trafficked into the country or is used in armed attacks. The presence of previously undocumented ammunition may indicate that armed actors have the financial resources and contacts to procure ammunition at markets throughout the sub-region.  The profile can also assist national authorities in identifying diversion from state-controlled stocks and illicit ammunition flows to and from conflict and post-conflict settings.

Ultimately, the assessment presented in this report is designed to enhance efforts to disrupt and dismantle such flows and thereby contribute to regional security and stability.

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