Exploring Routes and Consequences of Small Arms and Light Weapons Trafficking in Selected Areas of Ethiopia


  • Abdo Beshir
  • Abdulfetah Endriss
  • Sisay Tessema
  • Melaku Tefera




Small Arms and Light Weapons, Trafficking, Routes, and Consequence, Ethiopia


Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) trafficking become a great threat to the peace and security of Ethiopia. Throughout the whole year of 2020, in all parts of the country, the seizure of illicit firearm is the agenda of many Medias, security organs, and the people. Thus, this study aims to examine the routes, and consequences of illicit firearms trafficking. It covered purposively selected areas parts of Ethiopia. The study used qualitative research approach and exploratory design. The study samples were 19 inmates detained due to the firearm trafficking, 32 police officers, 9 militias, and 9 community leaders who were selected through purposive sampling technique. Data were collected through interview and FGD, and then thematically analyzed. The finding of the study showed that the major routes of firearm trafficking linked to and followed the course from border areas to the central areas of Ethiopia, specifically from neighbor countries like Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia to Addis Ababa. The traffickers or brokers used central areas like Addis Ababa and its surrounding cities as depository spaces to recirculate illicit SALW to areas where there are high needs in the country. Study also revealed that illicit SALW trafficking leads to increment of armed groups and number of conflicts to broke out. As a result, many people were injured, and loss life and millions were displaced from their homes. It also triggered the impediment of peace and security; psychological impact and threat; socioeconomic obstruct; political instability and fueled the commission of firearms supported crimes like homicide, robbery and kidnapping in the study populations. Therefore, the study recommends that the security sectors should aware and updated of modus operandi used by illicit SALW traffickers through continues trainings; porous and wide border of the country should subject to regular control and inspections through advanced technology products; there should be regulation that governs antisocial behaviors (i.e. harmful networks and corruptions) of law enforcement organs used to permit inflow of illicit SALW to the country; and creating awareness to all concerned law enforcement agents and stakeholders on the consequences of illicit SALW trafficking to the country. 



How to Cite

Beshir, A., Endris, A. ., Tessema, S. ., & Tefera, M. . (2023). Exploring Routes and Consequences of Small Arms and Light Weapons Trafficking in Selected Areas of Ethiopia. Journal of African Development Studies, 10(1), 64–79. https://doi.org/10.56302/jads.v10i1.8781