2018 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Great Lakes Region

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs


Cross-border trafficking of SA/LW coupled with decades of conflict continue to affect the countries in the African Great Lakes region. Porous borders and inadequate security checkpoints contribute to SA/LW proliferation, which exacerbates regional insecurity. Remote weapons depots remain at significant risk of exploitation by violent non-state actors. Assisting the countries in the Great Lakes region to better protect stockpiles and destroy excess items will reduce the possibility of spontaneous explosions of ammunition and illicit trafficking in SA/LW.

To address the SA/LW challenge, the governments of the Great Lakes region established the Nairobi Protocol in 2004. The Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa was created to implement the Nairobi Protocol. From 2006 through 2017, the United States has provided more than $6.3 million in support of RECSA’s initiatives, including $500,000 in FY17. During 2017, CWD funding supported these initiatives in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to strengthen stockpile security, increase accountability, and reduce the threat of proliferation. RECSA destroyed 130 metric tons of excess munitions in Rwanda, 13,417 surplus weapons in Kenya, and 5,608 weapons in Tanzania. RECSA also provided 130 steel boxes to Kenya and 150 boxes to Tanzania to improve the physical security of SA/LW stored in remote police stations. RECSA improved stockpile management by training 38 Tanzanian police officers, holding a refresher course in electronic SA/LW recordkeeping for Rwandan and Ugandan police, and supported weapons marking programs for the police and military in Kenya and Uganda.