03 May 2023

Arms trafficking / Illicit flows of explosives in Central Africa

All countries in the region have imported civil explosives and initiators, increasing the risks of diversion.

In Central African countries, explosive substances, explosive precursor chemicals and initiators are controlled products and special authorization is needed to import, use, and transport or store them. However, some of these products are diverted, and used to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or in activities such as illegal mining or blast fishing. Criminal actors are involved in the illicit flows of explosives. Some are the illegal final users of explosives, which constitute the last step of the illicit supply chain. These are the non-state armed groups (NSAGs) using explosives as weapons, such as Boko Haram and, its rival offshoot, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) in the Lake Chad Basin (Chad and Cameroon), the separatist NSAGs active in the North West and South West regions in Cameroon, the Retour, Réclamation et Rehabilitation (3R) NSAG in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Other actors include illegal mining sector players, Illegal dealers, thieves and smugglers.

Image: Shutterstock


More +

EU Flag
ENACT is funded by the European Union
ISS Donors
ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies in partnership with
INTERPOL and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.