Firearms circulate throughout West and Central Africa with ease and without checks as leftovers from the region's numerous conflicts. Following the armed conflict in Libya in 2011 and that of Mali in 2012, African countries of this region now face a growing availability and trafficking in firearms and their proliferation into the Sahel-Saharan region have only increased the terrorist threat in this zone.
The authorities in this region have very little means of collecting data and identifying weapons legally owned by the military and security forces. Furthermore, their capacities of storing and securing weapons are limited due in part by lack of knowhow and logistical means.
In order to enhance Member States tackle this issue, UNODC works with national authorities on the implementation of the preventive and security measures envisaged by the Firearms Protocol by:
- Providing legislative assistance to harmonize their legislation with Firearms Protocols
- Supporting the marking of firearms, firearms collections and destruction activities
- Increasing security and effective record keeping for firearms, in particular seized ones
- Building capacity through training courses for criminal justice practitioners
- Strengthening the investigative and prosecutorial capacity to deal with firearms trafficking