Horn of Africa Bulletin Vol 28 No.3 May-June 2016

"The text of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which came into force in December 2014, has been hailed as a milestone in facilitating the regulation of international arms transfers. Africa countries where instrumental in the process; forty seven African states voted yes and Kenya codrafted the text of the Treaty. This issue of the Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB) is a joint issue involving Oxfam Liaison Office to the African Union and the Life & Peace Institute. The articles in this issue of the HAB are optimistic regarding the potential benefits of the ATT to Africa in general and the Horn in particular. The article by Slijper explores the scope and ramifications of military expenditure and the arms trade in the HOA. It provides useful insights into what is usually an opaque issue area. The article is also revealing in its insight that while states in the Horn are not major arms importers by global standards, in the African context the scope of the arms trade is significant. The article by Melaku discusses the added benefits of the ATT relative to earlier initiatives and suggests an advocacy strategy to encourage governments to sign on to and ratify the ATT. The article suggests the utility of a country specific advocacy approach to popularize the ATT in the HOA. Butcher’s article provides a very detailed and intriguing background to the negotiations that led to the ATT and reveals the key role of governments from the Horn in formulating the ATT. The article concludes by outlining the value added of the ATT compared to earlier initiatives and suggests that the HOA would derive immense benefits from adhering to the ATT. The article by Gutbi explores the humanitarian cost of uncontrolled arms and suggests that joining the ATT although will not necessarily end the conflicts within the region, but would certainly contribute to multifaceted efforts of a realization of a safer region."