Category: AIF Issue 52

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Silencing the guns

Africa: fragile gains There’s been some progress towards ending wars on the continent, but 2020 was never a realistic goal for ending all conflicts Seven years ago, in 2013, African leaders solemnly vowed “not to bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans”. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the founding […]

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Opaque and difficult to quantify

Light weapons: a roadmap Africa has made some innovative interventions to reduce illicit small arms flows, despite a scarcity of data and challenges on several fronts A member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) armed forces sings moments before casting his vote at a polling station in southern Sudan’s regional capital, Juba, on 9 […]

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Africa and the ‘grey market’

Transnational brokering: a complex web Businesses and criminal syndicates have both violated United Nations arms embargoes, sometimes with the collusion of corrupt state officials Arms brokering or inter-mediation is a commercial activity within the international arms trade that is difficult to regulate. Arms brokers often operate transnationally, so often escaping or avoiding national trade controls […]

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A legacy of bloodshed and corruption

The arms industry: fuelling conflict The world’s biggest arms fair, which turned 20 in 2019, is lauded as a ‘fantastic showcase’ by its British hosts, but critics strongly disagree  The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), which boasts of being the world’s largest arms fair, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. The biennial event, held […]

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Existential threats to humanity

Nuclear weapons: the African view African states argue that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee against their use or threat of use The climate crisis – the process of climate change – and its far-reaching and unprecedented challenge to all aspects of society, is often (and perhaps correctly) viewed as the […]

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A plague of greed and illegality

Small arms and light weapons: an African overview State fragility and political instability continue to create an ever-increasing demand for small arms and light weapons Following the end of World War II, Africa’s period of independence induced euphoria and sense of the prosperity that would follow the decolonisation of Africa did not last long. The […]

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A rapidly changing landscape of ever increasing threats

Cyber crime: It’s a war Cyber crime knows no boundaries and the perpetrators are constantly improving their capabilities Cyber crime cost Africa an estimated $3.5 billion in 2017 alone, according to pan-African IT business advisory company Serianu, but most countries don’t have the right legislation to defend themselves from – let alone prosecute – this […]

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How governments are ‘weaponising’ surveillance

Surveillance technology: used and abused African states have been deploying surveillance capabilities to spy on and intimidate youth movements and activists On 20 August, 2016, a group of mostly young social media activists gathered at a property in the Burundi capital, Bujumbura, to discuss national political affairs. The political climate was tense in the central […]

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The rhino rifle syndicates

Poaching: the big guns South Africa’s game reserves have been hard hit by an intensive campaign of poaching and wildlife crime The rampant increase in wildlife poaching has been widely acknowledged as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity conservation in Africa. The Asian demand for rhinoceros horn has seen a massive onslaught on the […]

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Gun trouble in the green city in the sun

Kenya: the arms race Kenyan authorities are grappling to answer the question of how large numbers of illegal firearms have ended up in civilian hands Referred to as the “green city in the sun”, Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, hosts more than 100 multinationals, including the United Nations Environment Programme. It is seen as a city with […]

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Caught in the crossfire

Kenya: Armed and dangerous Desperate and ruthless gangs find firearms widely available in Nairobi’s slums, presenting a constant security risk to the city’s residents A message posted on a Kenyan Facebook group known as Dandora Love People on 31 March, 2017 read like the opening lines of a scary movie script. Written by a member […]

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