Mali has faced more than a decade of armed violence perpetrated by extremists, resulting in thousands of victims among national and international armed forces, UN peacekeepers, and civilians.
Following the Taliban’s assumption of control in Afghanistan in August 2021, uncertainty has persisted about the scale, scope, and specific elements of the arsenal it captured from the previous regime. A new report from the Small Arms Survey, based on hitherto unpublished official data, provides the most refined picture to date of the arsenals captured by the Taliban.
Improvements in technology and information sharing have transformed PMFs from crude, impractical homemade devices of limited value to most criminals into highly functional weapons that are increasingly viewed as viable substitutes for factory-built firearms. The effectiveness of national and international small arms control regimes are gradually being eroded; the lack of serial numbers on such weapons, for example, undermines tracing efforts that have been a cornerstone of investigations.
The trafficking of firearms and their use in criminal violence in Europe has received significant attention from researchers and policymakers. Less is known, however, about the illicit proliferation of firearm ammunition and other explosive munitions. Currently, detailed data on illicit munitions in Europe can only be accessed through specialized law enforcement agencies. National seizure statistics often lack the necessary detail for policy-relevant analysis, as do the media reports, which often include incomplete or inaccurate information on the types and calibres of ammunition.
The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in West Africa expanded dramatically over the last decade. IED-building networks have established material and training links across conflict areas in West and Central Africa, and their designs have remained constant and inexpensive throughout the region—helping to increase their use in attacks against domestic and international security forces, UN peacekeepers, and civilians.
Craft firearms are deeply embedded in West Africa’s culture and history, often being used for hunting, livestock protection, and in traditional ceremonies. However, these firearms are increasingly being used in crimes and civil disturbance.
The fight against illicit firearms proliferation and misuse in the EU and its neighbors is a multifaceted challenge. This challenge encompasses the diversion of arms from national stocks and actors; trafficking from inside and outside the region; the illicit manufacture or transfer of parts, components, accessories, and ammunition; and the conversion of alarm, signal, acoustic, and air guns.
Situation Update: Afghanistan
Since the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban have sought to tighten their control over arms possession among their provincial commanders, the men under them, as well as civilians, and to rein in smuggling activity. Despite these efforts, however, smuggling continues, influenced by local dynamics in the provinces and long-standing clandestine arms trafficking networks.
'UN arms embargoes on conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are among the most frequently imposed injunctions to compel states and non-governmental actors to act in the interests of international peace and security. However, implementing and enforcing arms embargoes is a complicated business that involves multilevel coordination across government, industry, and society. Moreover, the international community's growing reliance on (ever more complex) sanctions makes it increasingly difficult for UN member states to meet their obligations...'
The Small Arms Survey’s Arms Embargo Self-Assessment Tool is designed to assist UN member states in examining their approaches and practices in implementing conventional arms embargoes mandated by United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) in general, and in particular those relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).