Ammunition diverted from legal to illicit markets is a central concern in small arms control, but its impact is understudied. A new Briefing Paper from the Small Arms Survey and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs explores how authorities can go about better monitoring the role it plays in violent crime.
'Eolika, a Guyana-flagged cargo vessel, had already been detained in the port of Senegalese capital, Dakar due to 'inconsistent' declarations. Authorities in the West African nation then searched the ship, seizing three containers of Italian manufactured ammunition worth an estimated US$5 million. According to initial accounts, port authorities in La Spezia authorised the shipment, which was reportedly headed to the Dominican Republic.
'Conventional arms and ammunition are at risk of diversion throughout their life cycle. Identifying and putting in place effective measures to prevent, detect, and respond to diversion is a priority for the small arms community. The second panel of the Small Arms Survey 2020 online forum ‘Taking stock of action on the illicit small arms trade’ focused on the issue of diversion, a key theme for this year’s sixth conference of states parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT CSP6) and next year’s seventh biennial meeting of the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA BMS7).
'On 14 March 2018, Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes were shot dead in an execution-style killing. Franco was a well-known human rights advocate whose personal background reflected the groups she fought for: a black lesbian woman raised in poverty in one the city’s most notorious favelas (slums), Maré. Her assassination made news across the world and led to major local protests.
The diversion of conventional arms from licit to illicit entities can occur at any stage of the arms transfer chain. Preventing diversion therefore requires varied measures that effectively tackle the issue along the chain. Check out our infographic summarizing these possible measures.
Under Attack and Above Scrutiny? Arms and Ammunition Diversion from Peacekeepers in Sudan and South Sudan, 2002-14 seeks to document the scale and scope of losses of arms and ammunition from peacekeepers in missions in Sudan and South Sudan.
The diversion of conventional arms from licit to illicit entities can occur at any stage of the arms transfer chain. Preventing diversion therefore requires varied measures that effectively tackle the issue along the chain.
More than 100,000 police and military personnel are currently deployed as United Nations peacekeepers (known as Blue Helmets) in 16 UN peacekeeping operations, with one in four of these peacekeepers deployed in South Sudan or Sudan. Between 2004 and 2014 there were at least 22 notable incidents of diversion or loss of weapons and ammunition during peacekeeping operations in these countries. These incidents, each of which involved the loss more than 10 weapons or more than 500 rounds of ammunition, have occurred during patrols, during attacks on convoys, and on fixed sites.