The countries of the Great Lakes region, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, are located at the crossroads of the African continent. Many of their surrounding neighbors are deeply embroiled in conflict: from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to their west and Somalia to their east, to South Sudan and the countries of the Sahel region stretching to the region’s north and west. One thing all of these conflicts have in common is that they are fueled by the widespread illicit availability of small arms and light weapons trafficked by corrupt officials, extremist groups, and criminal organizations. I recently traveled in the region and saw first-hand how the Department of State’s Conventional Weapons Destruction program is helping Africa’s Great Lakes countries safeguard arms stockpiles and promote regional security. DipNote»

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