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  • Author: Gergely Hideg, Anna Alvazzi del Frate
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The year 2018 was characterized by a decrease in lethal violence in several of the world’s hotspots, primarily due to a significant de-escalation of the armed conflicts in Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, and Syria. The homicide rate also decreased marginally due to population growth outpacing the nominal increase in killings between 2017 and 2018. These two trends jointly resulted in a modest positive change in the rate of violent deaths globally in 2018 which, at 7.8 violent deaths per 100,000 population, is at its lowest since 2012. Still Not There: Global Violent Deaths Scenarios, 2019–30, a Briefing Paper by the Survey’s Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA) project provides an updated trend analysis of global violent deaths and develops global-level scenarios for the years leading to 2030. Based on 2018 figures from the Small Arms Survey’s Global Violent Deaths (GVD) database, the paper also includes a specific analysis of developments in Northern Africa and the five nations of the G5 Sahel region. It finds that under a business-as-usual scenario, Northern Africa’s violent death rate would remain relatively stable by 2030. By contrast, under the same scenario, the fatality rate in the G5 Sahel region would increase significantly.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Conflict, Violence, Death
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan
  • Author: Matt Schroeder, Olena Shumska
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Making the Rounds: Illicit Ammunition in Ukraine finds that thousands of hand grenades, rockets, mortar rounds, landmines, and tins of firearms cartridges have proliferated throughout Ukraine, including to areas located far from the conflict zone in the east. Presenting findings from a comprehensive review of imagery and information on illicit ammunition trafficked to, from, and within Ukraine, the report includes an analysis of markings on more than 1,600 seized hand grenades, shoulder-fired rockets, ammunition tins, and anti-personnel landmines. The report reveals the types and sources of illicit ammunition in the country, as well as the modes of transport and smuggling techniques used by Ukrainian arms traffickers and their co-conspirators abroad. The analysis shows that the overwhelming majority of the 1,600 items analyzed were Soviet-designed models produced in Eastern European and Soviet factories prior to the dissolution of the USSR. Curbing the threat to local and regional security posed by this ammunition requires a long-term, coordinated effort by Ukrainian authorities and the international community.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons , Arms Trade, Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Gergely Hideg, Emile LeBrun
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Sound and timely gender-relevant data is key for adequately and comprehensively addressing armed violence. Global databases have the potential to highlight relevant gendered dynamics, but currently lack crucial information related to the sex and gender of victims as well as the context of the violent events monitored. Gender Counts: Assessing Global Armed Violence Datasets, a Briefing Paper from the Small Arms Survey, highlights these knowledge gaps and indicates ways towards filling them. Reviewing global, regional, and national datasets on lethal violence—including on homicides, and conflict-related fatalities—the study finds that gender relevance of the available data across the board is still low. However, recent developments in the 'Data Revolution' connected to efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda have demonstrated that it is possible to move in the direction of better data on the gendered dimensions of violence. Increasing political support and civil society commitments have started producing more gender-relevant data for a range of related lethal violence, small arms, and gender indicators. The study therefore sees room for optimism, and data for gender analyses will likely be more inclusive and gender-relevant in the near future.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Gender Issues, Violence, Survey
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Young
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Nile River bears considerably on inter-state relations among the countries through which it flows; with struggles over control of its waters driving the political undercurrents of the region. Ethiopia and Sudan exemplify such relations, shaped as much by the ebb and flow of the Nile as the rise and fall of the regimes that have governed them. This Briefing Paper by the Small Arms Survey’s Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan (HSBA) project analyzes this relationship and its place in a politically dynamic and evolving region. Conflict and Cooperation: Transitions in Modern Ethiopian–Sudanese Relations finds that the cold war both shaped and was itself shaped by the conflicts within and between the two countries. Following the end of the cold war, relations considerably improved under President Omar al-Bashir in Sudan and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia. However, the recent emergence of new governments in both countries does not guarantee a cordial relationship in the future as on-going political reforms, internal threats, and external influences from powerful states weigh heavily on both countries.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia
  • Author: Hugh Griffiths, Matt Schroeder
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: For more than a decade the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in defiance of UN sanctions, has found ways to systematically smuggle arms and other illicit goods in and out of the country. This Briefing Paper from the Small Arms Survey provides a detailed overview of how the DPRK evades sanctions by employing its diplomatic resources and exploiting key loopholes relating to transport, logistics, and proliferation finance. Covert Carriers: Evolving Methods and Techniques of North Korean Sanctions Evasion emphasizes the importance for UN member states, logistics companies, and global banks to adequately screen and monitor North Korean activities and transactions. The study also highlights how new information-sharing mechanisms would strengthen the ability of states, private industry, and the UN Panel of Experts to better detect ongoing North Korean violations and dismantle existing sanctions evasion networks.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Sanctions, Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Roberto Sollazzo, Matthias Nowak
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The tri-border area between Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali has long been an important zone of commerce for West Africa, and a key transit route for the trade flowing between the Gulf of Guinea, the Sahara, Sahel, and Mediterranean. In recent years, however, smuggling and trafficking has risen in the subregion because of the growing demand for illicit goods and firearms. This demand is fueled by communities’ need for self-defense due to banditry and the increased presence of jihadist groups; needs of traditional hunters and non-state security providers; and the ecosystem around artisanal and small-scale gold mining in which criminals seek weapons to target the miners who in turn equip themselves with firearms for protection against attacks. These dynamics heighten the risk of insecurity and instability. Tri-border Transit: Trafficking and Smuggling in the Burkina Faso–Côte d’Ivoire–Mali Region, by the Survey's Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA) project, takes a detailed look at the actors enabling smuggling and arms trafficking in the region, identifies the drivers of this traffic, and analyzes the impacts on local communities. The paper finds that there are three key trafficking axes in the area and that states are largely unable to control their borders and prevent these activities. The study also shows that illicit firearms are often trafficked together with other smuggled goods such as gold or drugs, using the ant trade method.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons , Political stability, Trafficking , Smuggling
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Paul Holtom, Benjamin Jongleux
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: 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. The Arms Trade Treaty Working Group on Effective Treaty Implementation (WGETI) compiled a paper on such prevention measures, which relied heavily on the experiences of major exporting states. Several African sub-regional instruments contain measures to prevent and detect diversion for states that are not major exporters. This Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper compares diversion prevention measures for importing states as identified in the WGETI paper and African sub-regional measures. It finds that the African instruments lack articles on post-delivery cooperation with the exporting state, compliance with assurances on re-export or retransfer, in addition to measures to address identified cases of diversion. However, it also finds that these instruments contain prevention measures that are not in the WGETI paper, including provisions on modes of transport and official entry points. Incorporating experiences from ATT states parties from Africa can help inform discussions on the role of importing states to prevent diversion.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Regulation, Trafficking , Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: André Desmarais
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Forensic science institutions have a key role to play—not only in criminal investigations, but also in the broader fight against illicit arms proliferation. However, their ability to play this role depends on their capacities, which are not well understood. A Briefing Paper (originally published in French) on the forensic services in Guinea aims to fill this gap. Building on previous case studies on forensic services in Chad, Mauritania, and Niger, Arms Monitoring in Guinea: A Survey of National Forensic Services by ballistics specialist André Desmarais—co-published by INTERPOL and the Small Arms Survey’s Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA) project—examines capabilities, limitations, and needs of Guinea’s forensic services. It finds that information on calibres, models, and ammunition types of seized weapons is limited, and that the country lacks a central firearms database. Based on this analysis, the study provides tailored suggestions for areas of improvement, as a way to support Guinea in significantly reducing illicit arms flows.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Crime, Forensic Science
  • Political Geography: Africa, Chad, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger
  • Author: Fiona Mangan, Matthias Nowak
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: 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’. Actors range from long-established criminals, corrupt officials, and organized trafficking rings, to tribal networks and low-level transporters. Based on field research, The West Africa–Sahel Connection: Mapping Cross-border Arms Trafficking analyzes the links between illicit arms trafficking and other forms of trafficking and organized crime in the region. The study also looks into the impacts of such arms trafficking as well as the responses to it.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Trafficking , Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Nicolas Florquin, Sigrid Lipott, Francis Wairagu
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: In the first-ever continental analysis of illicit arms flows in Africa, the African Union Commission and the Small Arms Survey identify the scale, availability, characteristics, and supply patterns of illicit small arms in Africa. The African Union (AU) Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by Year 2020 was adopted in January 2017 and sets out practical steps to address the underlying drivers of conflict as well as the tools and enablers of violence. Preventing the illicit flows of weapons within Africa, including to conflict zones, is a vital component of the AU Roadmap, and this report aims to provide AU member states with a synthesis of relevant information on the topic. Weapons Compass: Mapping Illicit Small Arms Flows in Africa finds that cross-border trafficking by land is the most prominent type of illicit arms flow affecting countries on the continent. The weapons trafficked comprise both those sourced from within the continent—such as legacy weapons recycled from earlier conflicts and weapons diverted from national stockpiles—as well as arms sourced from other parts of the world, including embargo-breaking transfers from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The report provides practical recommendations for AU member states to tackle illicit arms flows by noting specific assessments that can be generated to fill knowledge gaps; practical guidance and tools to develop; and ways in which to support and coordinate the implementation of those recommended actions.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons , Arms Trade, Conflict, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Claire McEvoy
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Report summarizes both the formal contributions made by presenters at the fourth MPOME Regional Workshop and the discussions that ensued. The workshop was held at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Peacekeeping, Peace
  • Political Geography: Belgium, Global Focus
  • Author: Eric G. Berman
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This report details efforts to improve weapons and ammunition management in non-United Nations (UN) peace operations in order to enhance force protection and mandate implementation. More than 25 organizations apart from the UN have deployed more than 100 peace operations to date. These non-UN organizations face the same challenges as the UN in securing their contingent-owned equipment (COE) and the lethal materiel they recover. Non-UN peace operations may even be more vulnerable to these challenges than UN operations. Thousands of small arms and light weapons as well as millions of rounds of ammunition have been lost in recent years as a result of attacks on fixed sites, patrols, and convoy movements. Forced abandonment of COE, burglary, theft, corruption, as well as poor discipline and practices also contribute to diversion of materiel. Beyond Blue Helmets: Promoting Weapons and Ammunition Management in Non-UN Peace Operations focuses on defining key terms, identifying the actors undertaking non-UN peacekeeping operations, and analyzing the challenges they face as well as the control measures that exist to mitigate the risks and reduce the loss of arms and ammunition. The report also highlights efforts some of these actors are presently undertaking to develop more effective checks and balances to enhance weapons and ammunition management (WAM) practices in peace operations, and suggests additional measures that could be undertaken towards these ends.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Picard, Paul Holtom, Fiona Mangan
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Authorized small arms imports to South-east Asia were worth at least USD 443 million in 2016, a 48 per cent increase from 2015, as revealed by the Small Arms Survey’s Trade Update 2019: Transfers, Transparency, and South-east Asia Spotlight. This increase, combined with the diversification in their small arms trading partners, highlights the region’s growing significance for international small arms flows. The increased value of imports for South-east Asia mirrors the growth in the value of the global small arms trade, which was worth USD 6.5 billion in 2016—a 13 per cent increase compared to 2015 and the highest ever since the Small Arms Survey began collecting trade data in 2001. Almost 90 per cent of the USD 751 million global increase can be attributed to the world’s top tier of small arms exporters—most notably from Austria, Croatia, and Germany. The Small Arms Survey’s Trade Update features the 2019 edition of the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer—which scores the transparency of top and major exporters’ reporting on arms trade activities out of a maximum 25 points. The 2019 Barometer identifies Switzerland as the most transparent small arms exporter with 21.25 points for activities carried out in 2016, followed by Germany and the Netherlands with 19.5 points each, and Serbia and the United Kingdom with 18.25 points each. The least transparent major exporters were North Korea and Iran with zero points, Saudi Arabia with 0.5 points, and Israel with 1.25 points.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons , Arms Trade, Transparency
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Croatia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Wolfram Lacher
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Since the arrival of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli in March 2016, four large local militias have gradually divided up the capital between themselves. Though nominally loyal to the government, they now exert a degree of influence over state institutions and resources that is unprecedented in post-Qaddafi Libya. This Paper examines the rise of a militia cartel in Tripoli, and concludes that the situation is untenable, as it risks provoking a major new conflict over Tripoli fought by those who have been excluded from access to the state and impedes efforts to establish a meaningful unity government
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Savannah de Tessières
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Report from the Small Arms Survey’s Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA) project examines insecurity, terrorism, and trafficking in Niger.The Sahel hosts multiple conflicts with myriad armed actors destabilizing the entire region. Positioned at the heart of this region, Niger sits at the crossroads of terrorism, trafficking, and conflict. The Nigerien state has great difficulty in guaranteeing domestic security, which has a devastating impact on social and economic development, in addition to it reinforcing tensions and fueling local conflicts. Older tensions become locked into new insecurity dynamics, such as terrorism, further complicating any future resolutions. Armed banditry, trafficking of weapons and drugs, violent community disputes, and the rise in terrorist attacks are all symptomatic of the State’s struggles. At the Crossroads of Sahelian Conflicts: Insecurity, Terrorism, and Arms Trafficking in Niger, authored by Savannah de Tessières, a senior consultant to the Survey, draws on extensive fieldwork in the regions of Agadez, Diffa, and Niamey. This included examinations of arms and ammunition seized across the country, as well as dozens of interviews with national and international government and security officials, civil society representatives, gold diggers, former rebels, and other experts.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism, Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Sahel, Niger
  • Author: Nicolas Florquin, Benjamin King
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Criminals purchase weapons unable to fire live ammunition legally and at low costs across Europe, converting them into lethal firearms with little to no training or expertise. The Small Arms Survey report From Legal to Lethal: Converted Firearms in Europe provides a detailed examination on the topic. Users of converted firearms include petty criminals, organized crime groups, and terrorist actors. Certain conversion techniques require some level of technical skills, but converters also make use of online, open-source tutorials to convert weapons relatively easily. While Europe has faced a range of converted weapons over the past decades, two main types of readily convertible firearms have entered into the illicit arms market in recent years: Slovak-origin acoustic expansion weapons (AEWs)—as used by Amedy Coulibaly in the Montrouge and Hypercacher Paris attacks in 2015; and Turkish-manufactured alarm pistols—currently the most prevalent converted firearm in Europe. Smuggling these weapons to and within Europe involves: ant trafficking: the movement of small-scale shipments of converted and converted-to-be weapons across borders, typically involving fewer than a dozen firearms per shipment, which are transported in private vehicles, boats, or buses; and online trade and the use of parcel and postal services: the procurement of deactivated or imitation firearms or their parts and components online, shipped through parcel and postal services. Strengthened European Union regulations and coordinated law enforcement operations have succeeded in reducing some specific sources of converted firearms but these efforts have been mainly reactive, and existing record-keeping systems and statistics do not always allow for the sufficient monitoring of trends to enable early warning of new threats. The European experience in dealing with the issue of converted weapons is relevant beyond the continent as it is clear that the proliferation of these firearms takes place in other global sub-regions as well.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism, Weapons , Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul Holtom, Moshe Ben Hamo Yeger
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: In preparation for the Third Review Conference (RevCon3) to review progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI), the Small Arms Survey released Implementing the Programme of Action and International Tracing Instrument: An Assessment of National Reports, 2012–17, a study presenting a comprehensive analysis of national reports on PoA and ITI implementation submitted during 2012–17. It identifies the current state of play, progress in implementation, and assistance opportunities.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Regulation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: G. Hays, N.R. Jenzen-Jones
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Although the number of craft-produced small arms and light weapons is difficult to estimate, they are prevalent and range broadly in sophistication and quality. Improvised and craft-produced firearms remain an important source of firepower for a wide range of actors, including tribal groups, poachers, criminals, insurgent groups, and even some states and quasi-state groups. In various locations, these weapons account for most of the firearms used in crime; in others, their production is institutionalized, providing essential income for local gunsmiths. Criminals outside of active conflict zones, especially in developing states and territories, appear to hold the highest concentrations of craft-produced small arms. In several countries, such firearms account for a sizable proportion of weapons seized in law enforcement operations. The vast majority of improvised and craft-produced weapons cannot be easily traced, although certain forensic and investigative techniques show promise in closing this gap. Beyond State Control: Improvised and Craft-produced Small Arms and Light Weapons provides an overview of the nature and scale of production, acquisition patterns, and implications for law enforcement and policy.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Crime, Law Enforcement, Weapons , Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Holtom, Irene Pavesi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The 2018 edition of the Small Arms Survey’s Trade Update—analyzing the small arms authorized trade in 2015—finds that the global authorized small arms trade was worth at least USD 5.7 billion in 2015, with small arms ammunition exports valued at USD 2.3 billion. The total value represents a seven per cent decrease between 2014 and 2015, mostly due to a USD 198 million decline in exports by top exporting countries the United States, Brazil, and Italy. Sub-Saharan Africa suffers disproportionately from the negative impacts of small arms and ammunition flows on peace, security, stability, and development, yet it only accounts for less than five per cent of the estimated value of the authorized global small arms trade. Due to historically low levels of openness regarding sub-Saharan African small arms production and transfers, identifying major African importers and exporters—as well as suppliers—remains a challenge. Trade Update 2018: Sub-Saharan Africa in Focus uses multiple open sources to tentatively map major sub-Saharan African producers, exporters, and importers of small arms. The Small Arms Survey identified that at least 15 sub-Saharan African states industrially produce small arms and/or ammunition, namely: Angola, Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Official data indicates that South Africa was the largest sub-Saharan African exporter and importer of small arms during 2013–15. Significant importers during this period include: Angola, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, and Uganda. The largest transparent small arms exporters to sub-Saharan Africa for 2013–15 appear to be Bulgaria, Serbia, France, Spain, and Italy, in descending order of importance. Exporters such as China, the Russian Federation, and Turkey also concluded significant deals to supply small arms to sub-Saharan Africa during this period.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Political stability, Arms Trade, Peace, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Jérôme Tubiana, Claudio Gramizzi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Southern Libya after the fall of Qaddafi has become synonymous with lawlessness. For centuries, the area has been home to a shifting sea of ethnic groups who see the border as an imposition but not a barrier. The Tubu (or Teda) are one such group, whose presence stretches across southern Libya, Chad, and Niger. In Lost in Trans-Nation: Tubu and Other Armed Groups and Smugglers along Libya’s Southern Border, the Small Arms Survey explores the role of Tubu militias before and since the fall of the Qaddafi regime; the roles and alliances of Chadian and Sudanese combatants in the border area; the Agadez–Fezzan corridor, placing particular weight on recent changes in migrant smuggling and drug trafficking; and data and analysis of regional weapons flows. Authored by researchers Jérôme Tubiana and Claudio Gramizzi, Lost in Trans-Nation is a joint publication of the Small Arms Survey’s Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA) and Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) projects, in cooperation with Conflict Armament Research, and builds on the 2017 report Tubu Trouble: State and Statelessness in the Chad–Sudan–Libya Triangle by the same authors and organizations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Arms Trade, Trafficking , Smuggling
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Chad, Niger
  • Author: Paul Holtom, Irene Pavesi
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Small Arms Survey’s Trade Update 2017: Out of the Shadows provides an overview of the international trade in small arms and light weapons in 2014, identifies the world’s top and major exporters of small arms and light weapons, and assesses changes in trade patterns from 2013 to 2014. The Update also presents the 2017 edition of the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, which scores key exporters from the most to the least transparent. The main findings include the following: In 2014, the top exporters of small arms (those with annual exports of at least USD 100 million), in descending order, were: the United States, Italy, Brazil, Germany, South Korea, Austria, Turkey, the Russian Federation, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, and Japan. Brazil exported more than USD 500 million worth of small arms for the first time during 2001–14. In 2014, the top importers of small arms (those with annual imports of at least USD 100 million), in descending order, were: the United States, Canada, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Australia, Iraq, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The United States remains the world’s largest importer, but the value of its imports declined for the first time since 2001, from USD 2.5 billion in 2013 to USD 2.2 billion in 2014. The international small arms trade was worth at least USD 6 billion in 2014. Ammunition accounted for 38 per cent of global transfers. The value of ‘military firearm’ shipments increased by 49 per cent between 2013 and 2014, from USD 475 million to USD 708 million. In contrast, the value of the trade in pistols and revolvers declined by 16 per cent, from USD 1 billion to USD 845 million. The 2017 edition of the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer identifies Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Serbia as the most transparent top and major small arms exporters. Iran, Israel, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the least transparent major exporters. The average score in the 2017 Barometer is 11.33 out of 25 points. The areas that have seen the most improvement over the past year are: comprehensiveness (+17 per cent), access and consistency (+12 per cent), licences denied (+11 per cent), and clarity (+4 per cent). In their first ATT annual reports, Austria, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Liberia—none of which had reported small arms transfers to the UN Register—provided information on small arms transfers, thus increasing overall transparency on international small arms transfers. Although Iran, North Korea, and the UAE rarely, if ever, recorded small arms exports worth USD 10 million or more in Comtrade, Survey research indicates that they are major small arms exporters. It is more difficult to determine the status of Saudi Arabia, which appears to be a significant re-exporter of small arms.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Arms Trade, Transparency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eric G. Berman, Mihaela Racovita, Matt Schroeder
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Report highlights results of research into the loss of arms and ammunition in a range of peace operations. Losses include assault rifles and pistols, armoured vehicles and numerous types of light weapons that in aggregate represent thousands of weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition. Making a Tough Job more Difficult: The Loss of Arms and Ammunition in Peace Operations focuses on United Nations- and regional organization-led peace operations. The materiel is lost in a variety of ways and settings—described in the report. Some loss of arms and ammunition in peace operations is inevitable given the challenges peacekeepers face in conflict and post-conflict settings. The report shows, however, that considerable quantities of arms and ammunition are lost or redistributed due to less-than-best practice and poor oversight. It also finds that the UN’s system for managing and controlling the movement of contingent-owned equipment provides the framework for weapons and ammunition management but that greater access to the policies, procedures, and guidelines of both UN and non-UN peace operations would improve understanding of existing control measures and the gaps in these controls.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Irene Pavesi
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Update provides an overview of the international trade in small arms and light weapons in 2013. The first section of the Update reports on the total values and main categories of small arms1 transferred by top and major exporters and importers. This section also assesses changes in trade patterns from 2012 to 2013. The second section presents the 2016 edition of the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, whose methodology and sourcing have been revised. As explained below, the Barometer now includes a new source—the Regional Report on Arms Exports, prepared by of the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms (SEESAC).
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Weapons , Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The UN arms embargo on Darfur— imposed in 2004, expanded in 2005, and elaborated in 2010 with additional due-diligence requirements—has demonstrably failed to prevent the delivery of materiel to Darfur’s armed actors. A transnational supply chain based in locations as diverse as the remote Central African trading town of Am Dafok and the commercial centres of Dubai continues to furnish weapons, ammunition, and other military equipment to all sides in a 14-year-old conflict (see Map 1).
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Weapons , Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Darfur, Central Africa
  • Author: John Young
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) for Sudan and South Sudan is a multi-year project administered by the Small Arms Survey. It was developed in cooperation with the Canadian government, the United Nations Mission in Sudan, the United Nations Development Programme, and a wide array of international and Sudanese partners. Through the active generation and dissemination of timely, empirical research, the project supports violence reduction initiatives, including disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programmes, incentive schemes for civilian arms collection, as well as security sector reform and arms control interventions across Sudan and South Sudan. The HSBA also offers policy-relevant advice on redressing insecurity.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, International Security, Reform, UNDP
  • Political Geography: Sudan, South Sudan
  • Author: Sarah Parker, Marcus Wilson
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: UN member states adopted the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in November 2000.3 UNTOC was supplemented by three protocols that address trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants, and the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in firearms. The third of these—the UN Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, known as the Firearms Protocol—was adopted on 31 May 2001 by General Assembly Resolution 55/255 and entered into force on 3 July 2005 (UNGA, 2001c). For states that have ratified or otherwise formally expressed their consent to be bound by it, the Firearms Protocol is legally binding.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, Weapons , Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eric G. Berman, Kerry Maze
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA) provides an increasingly critical framework for governments and civil society. Armed groups continue to illegally access and use illegal weapons to mount mass attacks on civilians and terrorize cities and communities, commit human rights violations and banditry, and incite and prolong armed conflicts. Some 60 million people are displaced due to war and insecurity (UNHCR, 2016). Armed attacks and kidnappings directed at humanitarian workers are at record highs. Armed groups are increasingly disregarding international humanitarian law and, as a result, are blocking much needed assistance to populations at risk.1 The vast majority of deaths from armed violence do not occur in conflict settings, however. Of the more than 500,000 lives that are lost annually to armed violence, in some countries small arms––many of them illicit––are used in more than three out of four homicides (Geneva Declaration Secretariat, 2015).
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, Governance, Weapons , UNDP
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: In September 2015 UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (2000–15) with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. While reaffirming core MDG aims, such as poverty reduction and the promotion of health care and education, these SDGs and targets tackle a much broader range of factors driving underdevelopment, includ- ing violence and insecurity (UNGA, 2015a).
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, International Security, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs, Weapons , Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: While it was in power the Qaddafi regime tightly regulated the Libyan domestic arms trade, and local black market sales were virtually unheard of. Supplies were constrained as well—international sanctions prohibited the legal importation of arms into Libya from 1992 to 2003.1 Even when sanctions were lifted in September 2003 and international arms exports began to flow again (supplementing the Qaddafi regime’s already massive government arsenal), the domestic arms trade was stagnant (Jenzen-Jones and McCollum, forthcoming). The Libyan revolution deposed the Qaddafi regime in 2011 and with it brought to an end the Libyan state’s regulation of the arms trade. Military stockpiles were raided, and small arms and light weapons made their way into the hands of non-state armed groups and private sellers.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, Military Strategy, Non State Actors, Sanctions, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This iconic line from the 2005 film Lord of War conveys widely held assumptions about international arms traffickers: that they are ambitious, well-connected, globe-trotting entre-preneurs who single-handedly arm criminals and militias throughout the world. The film’s fictional protagonist, Yuri Orlov, is based on five actual arms dealers, including Russian businessman Viktor Bout, whose vast global network of shell companies and unsavoury clients earned him the moniker ‘the Merchant of Death’ (Gilchrist, 2005). The composite image of Bout and his peers has become the archetypal arms trafficker, the image that comes to mind whenever the illicit arms trade is discussed. Yet most arms traffickers bear little resemblance to that image.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, Military Strategy, Mass Media, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: N.R. Jenzen-Jones
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Emergent ammunition technologies are likely to prove key in future firearms designs, while many also apply to legacy weapons. Emergent cartridge case technologies, the rise of the ‘general-purpose’ calibre, and other nascent technologies will affect the way in which firearms are designed, produced, managed in service, tactically employed, maintained, and sustained. Many of these technologies are focused on reducing the logistics burden on armed forces and security agencies, and on reducing the carrying load of the individual combatant. While these technologies also apply to medium- and large-calibre ammunition, this Working Paper restricts its focus to small-calibre ammunition—cartridges of up to 14.5 × 114 mm in calibre—which are commonly fired from firearms referred to as small arms and light weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Since the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations released its seminal report in 2000, UN missions have grown considerably in size and com- plexity. As of November 2015, more than 100,000 uniformed personnel were serving in UN peace operations—a three-fold increase since 2000 and a 50 per cent rise since 2005 (UNDPKO, 2005; UNGA and UNSC, 2015b, p. 20). These troops, military observers, and police officers increasingly operate in large, underdeveloped countries, alongside violent armed groups that show little interest in political compromise and have few compunctions about attacking UN forces (UNGA and UNSC, 2015b, pp. 21–22). Succeeding in these environments requires that peacekeepers be well trained and well armed.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Politics, United Nations, International Security, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Irene Pavesi
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Small Arms Survey’s Trade Update 2016: Transfers and Transparency reports that the world’s ‘top’ and ‘major’ small arms exporters delivered at least USD 5.8 billion worth of small arms in 2013, an increase of 17 per cent compared to the USD 5 billion worth exported in 2012. The United States exported a record USD 1.1 billion worth of small arms in 2013, followed by Italy (USD 644 million) and Germany (USD 557 million). These three states accounted for almost 40 per cent of exports in 2013. In addition, significant increases in exports were recorded by Croatia, Israel, Spain, and Switzerland, whose small arms exports in 2013 pushed them over the USD 100 million mark. Meanwhile, transfers of small arms to the United States (USD 2.5 billion) alone accounted for 42 per cent of all imports.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Arms Trade, Transparency, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus