Fortune Iringe-Miebaka


The illicit arms conflicts rocking West African Sub-Region indicates large number of illicit arms have engulfed the Region despite there incessant unlawful use by the state and non-state actors. broad display of illicit arms to illegal actors in West African Regions create a huge threat higher than that of Covid-19 pandemic in terms of its human and social Economic effects, due to these illicit arms trafficking, the fabric of the Sub Region is drastically detourorating, swiftly drifting towards self-destruction This paper examined ECOWAS Convention and its role in the control of illicit arms in West African Region. Rational choice theory by Adams Smith formed the theoretical backing of the study. The study adopted descriptive method. Secondary sources of data were employed in this work, with the central method being library research, articles, textbooks and internet publications. Finding from the study show that there are more than one hundred million illicit arms in West African Region, which continually aggravate numerous of armed conflicts in the Sub Region, despite of the distinct efforts of ECOWAS to combat illicit arms trafficking in West Africa Sub Region. The paper further shown that ECOWAS Convention which intend to control the desterilizing and excessive build-up of illicit arms in the sub region is nothing but a fantasy  as an  upshot  of  feeble National control  and absence of international cooperation  on illicit arms  control that led to the trafficking of these arms  on illicit market. It was revealed that the utmost obstacle in resolving deliberations on gun policy in West African is inadequate data and political will among the state, thus, the paper concludes that, combating illicit arms and   transfer of arms to nefarious criminals, terrorist and combatant will entail a new approach with more defined objectives by ECOWAS member states.


ECOWAS, Trafficking, Small Arms, Light Weapons and Regional Security

Full Text:



Africa Council for Religions Leaders (2006). Small arms and light weapons: Africa a resource guide for religions for peace. UNIDIR.

Agwanwo, D. E. & Ekpetorson, D. G. (2018). Exogenous factors as determinant of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria: An analysis. Journal of African Contemporary Research, 9(2), 1-15.

Aina, V. (2020). Rising insecurity in Nigeria causes and solution. Pearson Prentice Hall.

Anatole, A. & Ibrahima, S. (2005). Combating the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in West Africa: Handbook for the training of armed and security forces. UNIDIR.

Cheikh, O. D. (2005). ECOWAS as the institutional framework for efforts to combat the proliferation of arms in West Africa handbook for the training of armed and security forces. UNIDIR.

Cyriaque, P. A. (2008). Political and institutional dynamics of the control of small arms and light weapons in West Africa. UNIDIR.

ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms, Light Weapons (2006). Their ammunition and other associated material. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

ENCA (2013). Africa leads in gender-based violence.

Francis, L. K. (2009). Small arms and light weapons transfer in West Africa: A stock taking the complex dynamics of small arms in West Africa. UNIDIR.

Frankonero, N. (2008) Effects of proliferation of small arms in Sub-Sahara Africa: USAWC strategy research project. Hybrid Publishers Limited.

Global Envision (2007). War costs Africa $18bn annually.

Hillier, D. (2007). Africa’s missing billions: International arms flows and the cost of conflict. Oxfam briefing paper, 107. flows-and-the-cost-of-conflict-123908.

Hiribarren, V. (2019). UN manguier au Nigeria : Histoires du Borno. Plon Publishers.

Ibrahim, A. (2015). Contextualizing the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria: The untold story. International Journal of Business and Law Research, 3(1), 1-14.

Keith, K. (2007). Small arms and light weapons: Towards global public policy, coping with crisis working paper series. Pearson Prentice Hall.

Kofi, A. (2010). Millennium report to UN general assembly. African Basic Economy Limited.

Natalia, E. (2020). Eurasian economic union as the space of security in the context of English school of international relations: theoretical and practical aspects. Indian industries.

Nwaiwu, C. (2015). Illegal arms in s/east produced locally–presidential committee. Vanguard.

Onuoha, F. (2013). Porous borders and boko haram‘s arms smuggling operations in Nigeria. Al Jazeera Center for Studies.

Osimen, G. U. & Akintunde, B. A. (2015). Small arms and light weapons proliferation and problems of national security in Nigeria. International Affairs and Global Strategy, 29(1), 39-48.

Owen, G. (2000). Examining international responses to illicit arms trafficking, crime law and social change. Pearson Prentice Hall.

Oxfam (2016). From pledge to commitment. Oxfam Online. files/bn-carpledge-to-commitment-151116-en_0.pdf.

PM News (2016). Nigerian army arrest two soldiers working with boko haram.

Rothe, D. L. & Ross, J. I. (2012). How states facilitate small arms trafficking IN Africa: A theoretical and juristic interpretation. SSRN Working Paper Series. https://doi:10.2139/ssrn.2427762.

Small Arms Survey (2001). Profiling the problem. Oxford University Press.

Small Arms Survey (2007). Small arms survey: guns and the city. Oxford University Press.

Small Arms Survey (2013). Weapons and the world: learning from Africa. Oxford University Press.

Small Arms Survey (2015). Documenting small arms and light weapons: A basic guide. Oxford University Press.

Small Arms Survey (2016). The online trade of light weapons in Libya. Pearson Prentice Hall.

Stohl, R. & Myescough, R. (2007). Sub-Saharan small arms: the damage continues. Current History, 2(1), 106-123.

Stohl, R. (2017). United States weakens outcome of UN small arms and light weapons conference. Arms Control, 1(1), 34-45.

Taylor, M. (2006). UN small arms conference deadlocks. Arms Control, 1(1), 49-53.

Thachuk, K. & Saunders, K. (2014). Under the radar: airborne arms trafficking operations in Africa. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 20(3), 361–378.

UNHCR (2017). Regional strategy for forced displaced of Malians: Refuges and internally displaced persons.

UNIDR (2006). Combating the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in West Africa, handbook for the training of armed and security forces. UNIDIR.

United Nations (2001). Programme of action to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects. UN Dococuments.

United Nations (2011). Sexual violence in conflict: Report on Central African Republic. central-african-republic/.


  • There are currently no refbacks.





ISSN (Print): 2276-8645





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.