2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Africa

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

The deadly legacies of Africa’s most notable and persistent conflicts continue to beleaguer countries across the continent. Dense minefields and UXO hotspots endanger civilians and impede economic progress. The threat posed by illicit trafficking of SA/LW in Central Africa is evolving in the region. A steady stream of illegal conventional weapons and munitions across Africa’s porous borders has incited increased cross-border violence and terror attacks, provoking further regional dissension and instability.

Poorly-secured stockpiles of excess conventional arms and munitions contribute to a high-risk environment for illegal weapons trafficking. Weak security institutions and permeable state borders provide violent extremist organizations and other non-state actors with opportunities to proliferate SA/LW and conduct operations throughout Central Africa, as well as across regional borders into the Middle East.

Continued U.S. assistance for stockpile reduction and PSSM efforts will be critical to alleviate this rapidly escalating crisis and to facilitate the peacebuilding process, and promote greater regional stability. Since 1993, U.S. CWD programs have provided more than $364 million for 32 countries in the region. The combined financial and technical efforts of the United States and its coalition of implementing partners toward landmine and UXO clearance have drastically reduced casualty rates and opened millions of acres for productive development.