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2.12.2020 : 2:42 : +0100

Relevant Resources

  • Measuring Illicit Arms Flows: Somalia, October 2016. Research Note No. 61 (also available in Arabic).

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  • Feeding the Fire: Illicit Small Arms Ammunition in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, July 2014. Issue Brief No. 8.

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  • Evolving Traditional Practices: Managing Small Arms in the Horn of Africa and Karamoja Cluster, June 2014. Armed Actors Issue Brief No. 3 (see also Annexe).

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The proliferation of firearms in Somalia—including among clan militias and al-Shabaab—and the inadequate management of state-held firearms and ammunition continues to threaten human security in the country and undermine formal initiatives to control weapons. While the drivers of armed conflict include political disputes, clashes over natural resources, and regional and cross-border confrontations, the abundance of illicit firearms enables high levels of violence to persist. 

With an emphasis on the South Central region of Somalia, Research Note 61, 'Measuring Illicit Arms Flows: Somalia',* addresses the linkages between illicit small arms trafficking and the multiple actors involved in the country’s ongoing conflict. It examines the utility of monitoring illicit weapons seizures as a way to measure progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 16 and Target 16.4—the reduction of illicit weapons flows. Further, it highlights the benefits gained by strengthening the management of seized weapons by government and AMISOM forces and stresses the importance of marking, record keeping and tracing of seized weapons. Finally, the case study considers the value in monitoring black market weapons and ammunition pricing as a method to identify sudden changes in local or national security dynamics. Monitoring weapons and ammunition prices on local markets can also help measure the impacts of formal weapons control mechanisms.

* Also available in Arabic.