Citation(s) from the literature library

Small Arms Survey. 2001 ‘Crime, Conflict, Corruption: Global illicit small arms transfers.’ Small Arms Survey 2001: Profiling the Problem, p. 172. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1 July

Relevant contents

One of the best-documented recent cases of arms transfers to the RUF [in Sierra Leone] was in March 1999 when a shipment of small arms from Ukraine (including 3,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 50 machine guns, 25 grenade launchers, five SA-7s, five Metis anti-tank missiles, and associated ammunition) was sent to Burkina Faso (Wood, 2000).

The shipment was facilitated by a Gibraltar-based firm, the Chartered Engineering and Technical Company, Ltd., and transported by a British airfreight company, Air Foyle, from Kiev to Burkina Faso. From there, the weapons went on to Liberia and the RUF (HRW, 2000).

Charged with breaking the embargo, the Ukrainian Government defended itself before the UN Security Council in June 1999, presenting the documentation that it had shipped the arms to the Government of Burkina Faso only.

It is worth mentioning that, in the absence of a special dispensation for the transfer, both Ukraine and Burkina Faso were breaking the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) moratorium on small arms purchases in West Africa, to which Burkina Faso is a signatory. (7)

Sources cited:

Wood, Brian. 2000. 'Arms and Related Support for the Rebels in Sierra Leone.' Testimony to the United Nations Committee on Sierra Leone, 31 July-1 August.

Human Rights Watch. 2000. Neglected Arms Embargo on Sierra Leone Rebels. New York. May.


7) Such special dispensations are secret, so there is no public record if one was granted or not.

ID: Q113

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