01 Mar 2022

Arms trafficking / Preventing explosions: taking stock of weapon stockpiles in West Africa and the Sahel

Without effective security and stockpile management systems, the wave of political instability in the two regions is likely to endure.

This policy brief reviews the state of the physical state of security and stockpile management (PSSM) in West Africa and the Sahel as at 2022. Through desk research and policymaker interviews, it explores key policies and practices. It questions whether governments struggle to maintain their arms and ammunition because they bite off too much, encounter unforeseen consequences that lead to the exposure and diversion of weaponry, or are just negligent. Regardless, loss of life and the destruction of property continue unabated as criminals, violent extremists and other non-state actors take advantage of the armouries’ sub-standard security.

About the author

Nelson Alusala is a senior research consultant at the Institute for Security Studies on ENACT, focusing on links between arms control, disarmament and transnational organised crime. He has previously worked with the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the UN Panel of Experts on Liberia. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Pretoria.

Photo: Adobe Stock


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.