International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Small Arms and Light Weapons Proliferation and Its Implication for West African Regional Security
Mr. Bashir Malam

One of the fundamental obstacles to peace and security in West Africa is the presence and continued proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW). The proliferation of small arms constitutes a major source of destruction to lives and properties and exacerbates inter-communal tensions leading to full-fledge conflicts. Most of the West African borders are porous, thus, making it easy for entry and exit of arms, drugs, as well as traffic of humans. More so, the high level of corruption in most of these countries compounds these security challenges especially face by states and the regional efforts at large. This study examines the impacts of small arms proliferation on the West African regional security; it assesses the efforts of the regional body in combating the menace with a view to proffer suggestions on how to address the threat. The study concludes that, the debilitating economy, failure of states to deliver the basic necessities of life, insecurity, and rising rates of unemployment, and above all corruption are some of the major internal factors that serve as obstacles to meaningful efforts at combating the problem in the region. It therefore posits that all hands must to be on deck at all levels to address the problem, considering the important role of the region to the continent, and to the sustainable development of global peace and security.

Full Text: PDF