The West Africa–Sahel Connection: Mapping Cross-border Arms Trafficking

Submitted by Lionel Kosirnik on 8 December, 2020

This Briefing Paper from the Small Arms Survey maps cross-border arms trafficking in West Africa and the Sahel through case studies on Niger, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, and the two tri-border areas of Burkina Faso–Côte d’Ivoire–Mali, and Ghana–Côte d’Ivoire–Burkina Faso.

The study reveals that highly organized trafficking networks move sizable arms quantities across large areas of land north of the Niger River. Arms trafficking south of the river is more characterized by lower-level arms flows and local intermediaries engaging in so-called ‘ant trade’.