African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 382

Review

The role of small arms and light weapons proliferation in African conflicts

Ayuba, Caleb
  • Ayuba, Caleb
  • Defense and Security Studies, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja, Nigeria.
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Okafor, Gerald
  • Okafor, Gerald
  • Defense and Security Studies, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 02 November 2014
  •  Accepted: 29 January 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015

Abstract

Africa is transiting through a trying phase in the history of its evolution as a major world civilization. These trying challenges are characterized by the extremes of hunger, the conditions of massive refugee flow and internally displaced persons occasioned by the gruesome phenomenon of violent conflicts and wars. The paper sets out essentially to establish the connection between the massive flow of small arms and light weapons (SALW) since the end of the Cold War and the equally catastrophic revolutionary ferment that characterized the Arab Spring across the fertile crescent and the Maghreb. The paper is sustainably driven by core normative paradigms covering the vast area of illicit armaments and their orchestrating influence in igniting violence. To weave the perspectives captured herein, the paper depended almost exclusively on the content analysis of existing literary materials in the humanist and social science traditions. Findings confirm that indeed small arms and light weapons abound within our case studies (Nigeria and the CAR), a phenomenon that both ignites and sustains violent conflicts within these previously peaceful national territorial entities. By way of recommendation the paper advocates the strengthening of existing legal and political protocols and the fortification of the borders of these countries if they are to remain virile and relevant in the international socio-economic and political order.

 

Key words: Arms, conflicts, proliferation, war, insecurity, hunger, light weapon.