CROSS-BORDER ILLEGAL TRANSFER OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS: THE NIGERIA’S EXPERIENCE
Keywords:Small Arms, Light Weapons, Illicit Transfer, Conflict, organized Crimes
Small arms and light weapons are currently assumed the most lethal instruments across regions and states. Their proliferation is rather negative; poses threats to security and development particularly in developing parts of the world. Nigeria therefore, like other developing countries, has been experiencing influx of illegal SALW for decades. It is on this context that this paper sets to examine the implications of illegal transfer of SALW in Nigeria. The paper relies on documentary sources of data collection which entails the use of information from the books, journal articles, Newspapers and other documented materials. It observes that porosity of the borders of most countries, ineffective security measures, corruption within the government officials including security personnel and the debilitating economy of African countries play a vital role towards increased illicit transfer of SALW. The paper indicates that illegal transfer of small arms and light weapons has immensely contributed to the rising insecurity situation in Nigeria; intensifies kidnapping across the country, armed banditry in the north-west and insurgency in the north-east. The Nigerian state has participated into several international and regional initiatives and also established national acts and protocols for the control of proliferation of illegal small arms. Nevertheless, the responses were found to be outdated and ineffective mechanisms that can significantly deal with the issue of illegal transfer of SALW. The paper therefore, recommends for political will towards the issue thereby improving the strategy of border control and committing the resources needed for the fight against illegal transfer of SALW. It also urges for all the relevant stakeholders that include, the politicians, government officials, security personnel and community leaders to understand the importance for the control of the spread of illegal arms for sustainable security situation in the country.
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