Over the last two decades, Central Africa has probably been one of the most conflict-ridden sub-regions of the African continent. It is, in any case, the region where peacekeeping operations have been conducted the most often. In terms of victims, the Rwandan genocide and the multiple wars in Democratic Republic of the Congo alone have, in all likelihood, caused more deaths than all of the other conflicts together in the past 20 years, deeply traumatising both of the countries’ populations.
If the natural resources seem to be the major motivation for most of the belligerents, among which numerous armed groups are, their capability of causing harm comes from an uncontrolled proliferation of small arms and light weapons. These SALW have spread among civilians, bringing about criminality which has hampered the development of some countries.
GRIP has paid special attention to Central Africa for 20 years. It works on past and present conflicts in the Great Lakes region of Africa, on the ongoing crisis resolution processes (peace operations, SSR, DDR, etc.) but also on regional and national initiatives aiming to stem arms flows and the armed violence linked to it.