Addis Ababa, 19 July 2019: The joint African Union (AU) and Small Arms Survey study on illicit small arms flows in Africa was officially launched at an event held today at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The first-ever continental study to be spearheaded by the African Union, is published under the title “Weapons Compass: Mapping Illicit Small Arms Flows in Africa”. The Study was developed within the context of the African Union’s Master Roadmap on Silencing the Guns, and the broader strategic framework for inclusive and sustainable development promoting peace, security, and stability – Agenda 2063.

The aim of the study is to inform small arms-related policy development and targeted response measures by the different stakeholders, including AU policy organs and regional inter-governmental organizations. The study provides these stakeholders with an updated assessment of the extent and nature of illicit small arms proliferation across the continent. It identifies six types of illicit flows and maps out the main characteristics, supply patterns, and actors involved in illicit small arms flows in Africa. The study also points out gaps in data and analysis, and recommends sets of integrated measures to be implemented at the national, regional and continental levels.

In light of the global nature of illicit arms flows, the study is relevant not only to Africa but to the international community as a whole as it strives to realize Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly, Target 16 on the reduction of all forms of violence and related deaths; and the reduction of illicit arms flows.

The study was considered by the 860th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council, held on 18 July 2019, which welcomed its findings and endorsed its recommendations.

The study is published in all the working languages of the AU and can be accessed through the following links:

Weapons Compass: Mapping Illicit Small Arms Flows in Africa

L’atlas des armes : Une cartographie des flux illicites d’armes légères en Afrique

Bússola de Armas : Mapeamento dos Fluxos de Armas em África

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For information and queries, please contact:


AU Peace and Security Department

Defence and Security Division



Small Arms Survey


Posted by SitroomCom
Last updated by Lulit Kebede

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