The Conventional Arms Proliferation in Sub Saharan African Countries: Stakes and Threats
US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
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Sub Saharan Africa continues to experience the destabilizing effects of the circulation and misuse of illegal Small Arms and Light Weapons SALW. Significant human suffering and material and financial losses are the primary consequences. Since independence from European colonialism, many armed conflicts within the region often end in widespread stock piles of arms that are difficult to control by weak and inappropriate mechanisms. The purpose of this thesis is to highlight the primary factors contributing to the proliferation of illegal SALW in sub Saharan Africa, such as porous borders and weak institutions due to the absence of real political will, and corruption. State and non-state actors exploit the widespread availability of SALW to advance their interests through violent means, particularly in failed and corrupted states. To address this issue, the thesis proposes an integrated proactive approach using all national power instruments, including political, socio economic, and informational measures. The study focuses more specifically on the role of military action to address this issue.