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Horn of Africa: Arms Trade

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the extent of illicit trafficking of small arms and weapons from Somalia into neighbouring countries in the Horn of Africa; and what proposals the Government has put forward to reduce the trade. (218330)

The availability of small arms and light weapons in the Horn of Africa region remains a serious problem. To help address this, the Government have committed £800,000 over a three year period (2007-10) to the Regional Centre on small arms and light weapons through the UK Conflict Prevention Pool’s security and small arms control strategy. The aim is to combat the illicit proliferation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons in the Great Lakes region and Horn of Africa by assisting states, including Somalia, to implement the Nairobi Protocol. The Government are also currently considering a project proposal submitted by the Mines Advisory Group which would provide training to Somali troops and provide technical oversight to the ongoing destruction of stockpiled weapons and munitions.