Small Arms Control


The proliferation and misuse of, as well as the uncontrolled access to, small arms and light weapons (SALW) pose severe risks to communities and national and regional security. In civil wars and conflicts, small arms are also used in serious crimes such as human or wildlife trafficking. They often constitute a major threat to everyday civilian life. For instance, poorly managed SALW armouries and munitions depots present a significant risk to surrounding communities. Time and again, there are explosions at ammunition stockpiles with many casualties. Moreover, weapons and ammunition can be stolen from insufficiently secured depots or diverted by corrupt security forces and then illegally circulated.

BICC’s aim is to develop innovative ways of how to control small arms in conflict-prone regions. Currently, our advisory activities focus on East and West Africa, as well as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region. Our work is based on a multi-level approach: It links political, strategic, regulatory and technical measures from the international to the local level. In this, we cooperate with certain countries and organisations mandated by their member states to strengthen small arms control: The African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) and the Sudan-based Sub-Regional Small Arms Control Mechanism (SARCOM).

BICC’s research and advisory work focuses on several aspects of small arms control: e.g. strengthening regional and national-level regulation of small arms control, countering the illicit cross-border trafficking of small arms through enhanced regional cooperation, physical security and stockpile management (PSSM), marking, record-keeping and tracing of weapons and ammunition as well as improved coordination of arms control initiatives at the regional and international level. Furthermore, BICC has developed a tool to build and share knowledge on SALW: The SALW-Guide is a publicly available online source of data on the most common SALW found around the world, including data on more than 80 different types of SALW (available in English, German, Spanish and French).


October 2019: UN General Assembly side event \ Countering Illicit Weapons and Ammunition Trafficking in Africa, New York, United States

August 2019: Open Day of the GFFO in Berlin \ New BICC photo exhibition "Safety First", Berlin, Germany

December 2018: National PSSm training, Khartoum, Sudan

November 2018: Validation workshop for the East Africa Chapter of the Silencing the Guns Plan of Action, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

October 2018: Report presentation "Technical assessment of weapons and ammunition management in the Gambia", Banjul, Gambia

October 2018: Regional training on physical security and stockpile management (PSSM), Nairobi, Kenya

October 2018: Sensitization Meeting on the Implementation of ECOWAS Convention, Banjul, Gambia

October 2018: Physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) Assessment Report Validation Meeting Banjul, Gambia

October 2018: PSSM partnership retreat, Nairobi, Kenya

October 2018: Pilot training of a mulit-phase regional PSSM course, Jaji, Nigeria

May 2018: Validation workshop on the West African (ECOWAS) regional strategy on practical arms control measures, Dakar, Senegal

May 2018: Cross-border cooperation workshop, Khartoum, Sudan

March 2018: "Physical Security and stockpile management (PSSM) competence-building seminar, Nairobi, Kenya

February 2018: Workshop "Cross-border anti-trafficking efforts and civilian disarmament", Berlin, Germany

November 2017: Executive Course on Weapons and Ammunition Management, Berlin, Geilenkirchen, Germany

October 2017: 72th Session of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee Side Event, New York, United States

October 2017: Meeting of the Group of Interested States (GIS) in Practical Disarmament Measures, New York, United States

September 2017: PSSM seminar on weapons management  from 24 to 28 September 2017, organized by RECSA, SARCOM BICC and German Cooperation, Khartoum, Sudan

March 2017: Greater Sahel Donor Coordination Meeting, Berlin, Germany

November/December 2016: Capacity-Building Seminar on Weapons Management, Kaduna, Nigeria

November 2016: Weapons and Ammunition Management Assessment Workshop, Abuja, Nigeria

November 2016: Multinational Executive-Level Seminar on PSSM, Berlin/Geilenkirchen, Germany

October 2016: Workshop on Good Practices and International Standards in PSSM, Bamako, Mali

July 2016: Arms Destruction Exercise, Makurdi, Nigeria

June 2016: 6th Biennial Meeting of States on the Programme of Action, New York, United States

February 2016: Donor Coordination Meeting, Berlin, Germany

January 2016: PSSM Training Workshop, Jinja, Uganda

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