Weapons control measures in Southern African states
This international policy update reviews the prospects for implementing effective control measures of small arms proliferation by South Africa’s neighbouring states. The formulation and execution of South Africa’s small arms control policies must take into account regional factors, since the neighbouring states have far lower capacity and resources to carry out weapons control policies. This document evaluates the small arms control policies and measures in Mozambique, Angola, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. It then describes South African policy. Given either the absence of or limited effectiveness of current weapons control measures in the region, South Africa must assume a larger share of the regional burden for control and increase its domestic control and border security measures. South African policy and law enforcement cannot strengthen or devise weapons control measures and fail to include neighbouring states. Their first responsibility is to protect South Africans from the effects of small arms proliferation. A small arms policy depending too much on the neighbouring states is likely to fail in meeting the security needs of South Africans.