Arms transfer controls - The example of French-speaking states in Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, perhaps more than elsewhere, the absence of common international standards on arms transfers fuels the flames of armed violence. The war and crime fanned by these flames significantly impede economic and social development. While United Nations member states are currently involved in negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), this GRIP report provides a comprehensive portrayal of national regulation and practices in French-speaking countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. It demonstrates that, overall, these countries do not have arms transfer control systems that are up to speed with the international arms trade. The lack of transparency and flaws in the system (or lack of systems) have on several occasions led to irresponsible or indeed illicit arms transfers. Several sub-regions of Africa have, however, recently adopted very robust legal instruments for controlling small arms and light weapons, which could have a significant impact within the framework of discussions on the ATT. Finally, the report underlines the challenges posed by the ATT for these countries.