Africa suffers enormously from conflict and armed violence. As well as the human tragedy, armed conflict costs Africa around $18bn per year, seriously derailing development. The most commonly used weapons in Africa’s conflicts are Kalashnikov assault rifles. The vast majority of these weapons and their ammunition – perhaps 95 per cent – come from outside Africa. To protect lives and livelihoods, the 2008 UN Group of Governmental Experts working on the Arms Trade Treaty must ensure swift progress towards a strong and effective Treaty. All governments have a role to play in ensuring its success.
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