Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Demetriou, Spyros, Robert Muggah and Ian Biddle. 2002 ‘The Environment.’ Small Arms Availability, Trade and Impacts in the Republic of Congo; Special Report No. 2, p. 31. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva / International Organisation for Migration / UN Development. 1 April

Relevant contents

The Environment

The Republic of Congo shares its frontiers with Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), and the Cabinda enclave of Angola. Each of these countries has experienced significant political instability or armed conflict and a corresponding deterioration in the capacity of state agencies to monitor and regulate the illegal trade in weapons and other smuggled goods. This situation is compounded by poor or non-existent surveillance infrastructure.

Air traffic control in the region, for instance, is rudimentary and does not extend beyond the international airports. Moreover, borders are difficult to police or secure since many of them run through dense tropical forest. Finally, the region is noted for the endemic corruption of many officials and civil servants, particularly in the seaports and airports. This combination of factors has thus created a favourable environment for the free circulation of weapons within and across borders…

The domestic market for weapons is driven by two sources of demand. First, it is evident that there is some degree of non-monetary redistribution of weapons occurring in urban centres - primarily in the form of consolidated weapons caches - and an embryonic market for weapons involving both ex-combatants and civilians. Second, military weapons are being sold to individuals residing around or near nature and wildlife reserves for the purpose of poaching.

Although an assessment of the magnitude or volume of weapons sold in these different ways requires further in-depth study, information received indicates that such trade is not significant in comparison with the total quantities of weapons believed to be in circulation, despite the favourable environment.

[DRC = Democratic Republic of the Congo]

ID: Q5146

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