The Illicit proliferation and use of small arms and light weapons and human security in East Africa: a case study of Kenya
Gikonyo, Joseph K
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This study is about the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) as an immediate security challenge to individuals, societies, and states around the world and an enormous hurdle to sustainable security and development. Small arms fuel civil wars, organized criminal violence, and terrorist activities. They also undermine multimillion dollar development programs and other assistance to fragile states. Fragile and failing states should be of particular strategic interest to the United States because even small insurgencies, if unchecked, can erupt into larger civil wars and possibly destabilize entire regions. The study examined the impact of small arms and light weapons on the human security in East Africa. Specifically, the study examined the international and regional normative and institutional frameworks to address the problem of illicit proliferation of SALW in Kenya. The study also analyzed the impact of the use of small arms and light weapons on human security in Kenya. The study also set up two hypotheses namely: The continuous proliferation of small arms and light weapons into the hands of civilians is occasioned by weak institutional and normative framework within East Africa region; and the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons has had a negative impact on peace and security of civilians in Kenya especially those living in slum areas and areas of constant ethnic conflict such as the northern part of Kenya. The study has given recommendations that in order to create such a safe and secure environment, it is necessary to identify, understand and subsequently address the entire range of factors that create, fuel and enable insecurity and conflict in Kenya. Another recommendation is that the government needs to review the legislation on small arms and light weapons and to enhance regional cooperation in combating the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.
University of Nairobi