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Armed violence prevention, gun control laws and the small arms trade:

Armed Violence and Guns in Central Africa

The nations of Central Africa suffer greatly from past and present conflict, armed violence and the proliferation of small arms.

Estimated civilian gun possession rates range from 1.1 and 1.4 firearms per 100 people in Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) respectively, to highs of 14.0, 17.3 and 19.9 per 100 people in Gabon, Angola and Equatorial Guinea – three of Africa’s four most heavily armed civilian populations.1 In 2004, with an estimated 2.8 million privately held firearms, Angola was ranked the world’s 28th most-armed civilian population – at that time the highest rate of private gun ownership in Central Africa, and second only to South Africa as the continent’s most heavily armed nation.2

Many Central African countries have been, and some continue to be ravaged by violence between armed groups, resulting in direct conflict death rates from 2.2 per 100,000 in the DRC, to as high as 10.1 in Chad.1 Estimated intentional homicide rates have been as high as 16.1 and 36.0 per 100,000 in Cameroon and Angola, while known homicide rates are lowest in Gabon with 17.1 per 100,000, but reach 18.8 in Congo, 19.0 in Chad, 24.0 in Equatorial Guinea, and as high as 29.1 in the Central African Republic and 35.2 in the DRC.1

Central African countries receive significant donor assistance for armed violence reduction, small arms stockpile management and destruction programmes, post conflict disarmament and reconstruction and peace keeping.3

For more detailed figures and gun control laws in each Central African country, search Find Gun Policy Facts in the left hand column.

Short References


GDAV.2010.‘Armed Violence Map (AVMAP).’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,10 May. (Q1804)Full Citation


Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation


UNODA.2018.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,23 July. (Q1309)Full Citation