Past eventResearch Event

Preventing the Loss of Arms and Ammunition in African Peace Operations

12 April 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Chatham House, London


Eric Berman, Director, Small Arms Survey
Mike Lewis, Head of Regional Operations (Sahel), Conflict Armament Research
Chair: Marie-Pierre Olivier, Legal Adviser, Rule of Law Section, Commonwealth Secretariat



A 2017 report by the Small Arms Survey found that thousands of weapons and rounds of ammunition, including bullets, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers, have been lost by UN peacekeeping missions in sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades: enough to equip an army. A notable recent example occurred in Somalia, where al-Shabaab militants attacked an AMISOM convoy and seized 11 assault rifles, an RPG launcher, 33 grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Examining how to counter avoidable losses of small arms, such as through lax stockpile security or corruption, as well as filling knowledge gaps, such as the practices of, and difficulties experienced by, non-UN operations, is vital to ensuring these weapons are not turned back on peacekeepers and used on civilians.

This event will discuss the Small Arms Survey’s report, Making a Tough Job More Difficult: Loss of Arms and Ammunition in Peace Operations. Eric Berman, managing director of the Small Arms Survey, will assess the scale of the loss of weapons in peace operations in sub-Saharan Africa and discuss options to tackle this phenomenon.