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

Western Sahara — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Western Sahara is reported by Customs to be US$161,9971 (2001)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Right to Possess Firearms

In Western Sahara, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law2 3

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Western Sahara adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 20064 5

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Western Sahara is not a Member State of the United Nations6

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list7 Western Sahara as a Participating State

BackgroundSustainable Development Goal Profile

About SDG 16

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals set by the United Nations to be implemented by all member states by 2030. Adopted in 2015, they outline a vision of development in which peace and security are an integral part. SDG 16,8 which seeks to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,” includes targets and indicators focused on reducing violence (Target 16.1) and the proliferation of illicit arms (Target 16.4). The indicators – or measurement criteria – of these targets include the number of victims of intentional homicide (Indicator 16.1.1), the number of conflict-related deaths (Indicator 16.1.2), and the number of illicit firearms collected and traced (Indicator 16.4.2). In light of these targets and indicators, provides granular national data pertaining to homicides, gun homicides, conflict deaths, disarmament efforts, and marking and tracing.

Global Peace Index

To see where Western Sahara ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index, and then click on Western Sahara on the map or in the "Select Country" menu on the right of the web page

Short References


Marsh, Nicholas.2014.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,22 December. (Q16)Full Citation


Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami, FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation


Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation


African Union / UNODA.2005.‘Windhoek Common Position.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:African Union / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 December. (Q3216)Full Citation


African Union.2015.‘Member States.’ African Union: A United and Strong Africa.Addis Ababa:African Union,10 August. (Q10548)Full Citation


UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ Web Site.New York, NY:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation


Wassenaar Arrangement.1996.‘Introduction: Participating States.’ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.Vienna:Wassenaar Secretariat,12 July. (Q19)Full Citation


United Nations.2017.‘Relevant Targets & Indicators.’ Sustainable Development Goal 16.New York NY:United Nations Statistics Division,6 July. (Q14093)Full Citation