Beyond shadow-boxing and lip service: the enforcement of arms embargoes in Africa
There are no international standards and treaties governing the import, export and transfer of arms. Some states and regional bodies, such as the European Union (EU), have policies and legislation regulating the trade in arms. However, in conflict-prone zones like certain regions in Africa, such policies and legislation appear to be ineffective or non-existent.
If an Arms Trade Treaty is to be successful, it is important to have a more informed understanding of the strengths and limitations of arms embargoes. This paper, employing a comparative case study approach, seeks to analyse the monitoring and enforcement of UN arms embargoes in Africa. Case Studies include Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia and Somalia.
Recommendations and conclusions include:
- the strengthening of the UN process and system of designing, monitoring and verifying arms embargoes
- where absent or outdated, policy and legislation on the regulation of the arms trade should be established at the national level
- establishment of appropriate government agencies so that such policy and legislation can be effective