Skip to main content

Africa and the Regulation of Transnational Arms Brokering: Challenges to Implement International Standards

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law 2019

Part of the book series: Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law ((EtYIL,volume 2019))

Abstract

African countries face an ongoing threat from the consequences of unregulated arms brokering but this cannot be solved by remedial action in Africa alone. Cases show that criminal justice and United Nations Security Council responses to mass atrocities and other serious violations of international law can sometimes ensure accountability and expose the complicity of those involved in international trading, brokering and shipping of arms used by the perpetrators. However, every state also has a responsibility in the first place to prevent such complicity by strictly regulating the conduct of those involved in the arms trade and cooperating with other states to do so. It is evident from the examples cited that, to be effective, both reactive and proactive approaches require a considerable investment of resources, political will and international cooperation, especially in relation to arms brokering which can involve an opaque and complex network of transnational arrangements. The newly established Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) obligates its 110 state parties to regulate arms brokering but leaves open the choice of specific means of regulation and how to define the term “brokering.” Specific standards and procedures for cooperation to regulate the brokering of firearms, or small arms and light weapons, have been established by states at regional and multilateral levels, but national legislation and actual law enforcement and cooperation amongst most African states still lag far behind those in most other world regions or are absent, exposing African populations to further risks from unregulated arms brokering.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Notes

  1. 1.

    Kendall and da Silva (2016), and Yihdego (2007).

  2. 2.

    Wood and Peleman (1999). This was the first substantial study of international arms brokering.

  3. 3.

    The term ‘grey markets’ was applied in the 1990s to the trade in small arms and light weapons to describe situations where the trade is authorised by one state but not by other states whose jurisdiction is involved, especially where there is no applicable national law so that the trade is legally questionable. For discussion of the term, see Zeray Yihdego (2007), pp. 84–87.

  4. 4.

    See also the many reports by UN Panels of Experts on UNITA (Angola), Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia, the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the UN Commission of Inquiry on Rwanda.

  5. 5.

    SC (1996a, b, 1997, 1998a), paras 8 & 26; SC (1998b), paras 26 & 28; SC (1998c), paras 26 & 73. Further details of arms supplies to the perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide was summarised in Wood and Peleman (1999), Chapter 3, pp. 29–48.

  6. 6.

    For example, see Bulzomi et al. (2014).

  7. 7.

    For example, see Cilliers (2018), and Muggah and Sang (2013).

  8. 8.

    Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Prosecutor v. Charles Ghankay Taylor, SCSL-03-01-T, Trial Chamber II, SCSL, 18 May 2012, paras. 1610-2045, 6908, 6912.

  9. 9.

    Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (‘Firearms Protocol’). Adopted by Resolution 55/255 of the General Assembly, New York, on 31 May 2001, and now has 147 state parties and 190 signatories. UNTS 2326; in force 3 July 2005.

  10. 10.

    Ibid, Article 15, which reads: ‘[Brokers and brokering] 1. With a view to preventing and combating illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, States Parties that have not yet done so shall consider establishing a system for regulating the activities of those who engage in brokering. Such a system could include one or more measures such as: (a) Requiring registration of brokers operating within their territory; (b) Requiring licensing or authorization of brokering; or(c) Requiring disclosure on import and export licences or authorizations, or accompanying documents, of the names and locations of brokers involved in the transaction. 2. States Parties that have established a system of authorization regarding brokering as set forth in paragraph 1 of this article are encouraged to include information on brokers and brokering in their exchanges of information under article 12 of this Protocol and to retain records regarding brokers and brokering in accordance with article 7 of this Protocol.’ [Emphasis added].

  11. 11.

    These regional treaties are: Protocol of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on the control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Materials (2001), Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa (2002), Convention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS to Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms, Light Weapons, their Ammunition and Other Related Materials (2006); The Central African (Kinshasa) Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and All Parts and Components That Can Be Used For Their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly (2010). For a comparison of their provisions on brokering, see Wood (2015).

  12. 12.

    United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 62/40 and 62/47 of 5 December 2007.

  13. 13.

    United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (‘PoA’). UN Document A/CONF.192/15 of 20 July 2001.

  14. 14.

    Parker and Green (2012), pp. 247–251.

  15. 15.

    UNODA (2017). Data is from national reports submitted by Member States.

  16. 16.

    Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) New York, 27 March 2013, in force 24 December 2014.

  17. 17.

    Article 10 (Brokering) of the ATT stipulates that: Each State Party shall take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms covered under Article 2(1). Such measures may include requiring brokers to register or obtain written authorisation before engaging in brokering.”

  18. 18.

    See Wood (2015) for an interpretation of Article 10 and its relation to other provisions of the ATT.

  19. 19.

    The scope of Article 6(2) is the subject of an as yet unpublished research paper presented by the authors to the University of Antwerp Law Faculty in March 2020.

  20. 20.

    ATT Secretariat (2020). As of 26 March 2020, out of a total of 105 ATT States Parties, 75 had submitted their initial reports and 62 had made them publicly available.

  21. 21.

    The other non-African instruments that address arms brokering are as follows: OAS (Organization of American States) Draft Model Regulation for the Control of the International Movement of Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition - Broker Regulations. CICAD/doc1271/03, 13 November 2003; Wassenaar Arrangement, Statement of Understanding on Arms Brokerage. Adopted during the Plenary Meeting, Vienna, 11–12 December 2002, European Union (EU) Council Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering. Brussels: 23 June 2003 (EU document 2003/468/CFSP); Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Best Practice Guide on National Control of Brokering Activities. Handbook of Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons. 19 September. 2003, FSC. GAL/63/03/Rev 2; Wassenaar Arrangement, Best Practices for Effective Legislation on Arms Brokering. Adopted during the Plenary Meeting, Vienna, 6–8 December 2016.

  22. 22.

    GA (2007), para 8. One of the authors of this article, Brian Wood, was the consultant to the UN Group of Governmental Experts on the illicit brokering of small arms and light weapons. The other author, Peter Danssaert, was a consultant to the UN Group of Experts to investigate violations of the arms embargo on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  23. 23.

    GA (2007), para 10.

  24. 24.

    SADC (2001), Article 1; EAC (2004), Article 1.

  25. 25.

    ECOWAS (2006), Article 1.

  26. 26.

    ECCAS (2010), Article 2.

  27. 27.

    Transparency International (2018).

  28. 28.

    United Nations Convention Against Corruption (2003) adopted by the General Assembly on 31 October 2003, UNTS 2349, which entered into force on 14 December 2005 and now has 187 state parties; United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, op cit; also the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (1997) which entered into force on 15 February 1999. The Convention is the first and only international anti-corruption instrument focused on the ‘supply side’ of the bribery transaction, and has 44 signatories, available at http://www.oecd.org/corruption/oecdantibriberyconvention.htm (accessed 13 April 2020); European Union legislation also addresses corruption, see https://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/c.php?g=363494&p=2455879 (accessed 13 April 2020).

  29. 29.

    GA (2007), para 11.

  30. 30.

    Lamb (2009), p. 46; South Africa, National Conventional Arms Control Act 2002 [amended 2008], Article 26.

  31. 31.

    U.S. Registration and Licensing of Brokers C.F.R. 22 Part 129 (2020).

  32. 32.

    United Nations Charter, Chapter VII, and specifically Article 41.

  33. 33.

    Arms embargo was imposed by UNSC Resolution 1572 (2004), 15 November 2004 and renewed up to 2016.

  34. 34.

    SC (2012), para 69.

  35. 35.

    SC (2006), paras 28–31; SC (2012), paras 30–80.

  36. 36.

    Wood (2006).

  37. 37.

    https://www.wassenaar.org/about-us/ (accessed 14 April 2020).

  38. 38.

    Amnesty International Canada (2019), York (2019a), Chase and York (2019), and York (2019b).

  39. 39.

    York (2019b).

  40. 40.

    Nieberg (2019).

  41. 41.

    Corr. fr. Bruxelles (47e ch.), procureur fédéral v. Jacques Monsieur, jugement (n° de greffe 02923), 1 juin 2017, inéd.

  42. 42.

    Van Damme (2018).

  43. 43.

    U.S. Attorney’s Office (2019b).

  44. 44.

    United States District Court, E.D. California, U.S. v. Dolarian, Government’s Brief in Support of Motion to Detain Defendant Ara Garabed Dolarian (Case No. 1:19-MJ-00106-EPG), 20 May 2019.

  45. 45.

    Implementing European Union Council Common Position of 7 May 2001 concerning restrictive measures against Liberia (2001/357/CFSP). A United Nations arms embargo against Liberia had been adopted on 7 March 2001 by UN Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001).

  46. 46.

    Implementing European Union Council Common Position of 13 June 2002 amending and extending Common Position 2001/357/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Liberia (2002/457/CFSP). The United Nations arms embargo against Liberia was extended by UN Security Council Resolution 1408 (2002) of 6 May 2002.

  47. 47.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Gravenhage (Eerste Aanleg), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2006:AX7098), 7 juni 2006.

  48. 48.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Gravenhage (Eerste Aanleg), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2006:AX7098), 7 juni 2006.

  49. 49.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  50. 50.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  51. 51.

    Global Witness (2001).

  52. 52.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Gravenhage (Eerste Aanleg), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2006:AX7098), 7 juni 2006.

  53. 53.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Gravenhage (Hoger Beroep), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSGR:2008:BC6068), 10 maart 2008.

  54. 54.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Gravenhage (Hoger Beroep), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSGR:2008:BC6068), 10 maart 2008.

  55. 55.

    Hoge Raad (Cassatie), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:HR:2010:BK8132), 20 april 2010.

  56. 56.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  57. 57.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  58. 58.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  59. 59.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  60. 60.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  61. 61.

    Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

  62. 62.

    High Court (Western Cape Division, Cape Town), Augustinus Petrus Maria Kouwenhoven v. The Minister of Police et al., Judgment (Case n° 1477/2018), 19 September 2019.

  63. 63.

    High Court (Western Cape Division, Cape Town), Southern African Litigation Centre v. The Minister of Home Affairs et al., Founding Affidavit (Case n° 18052/2019). The SALC argued that “the failure by the [Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs] to exercise his powers under the Immigration Act to cancel [Kouwenhoven’s] section 11(6) visa and deport him, is both a failure to uphold the rule of law and to comply with South Africa’s international obligations. It also sends out the unfortunate message that a perpetrator of international crimes, including war crimes, will find a safe haven in South Africa.”

  64. 64.

    Behr (2020).

  65. 65.

    Behr (2020).

  66. 66.

    Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), Hyde v Queen, Judgement (Case No: 201300289 B2; 201304192 B2), 15 April 2014.

  67. 67.

    In UNSC 2370 (2017) and UNSC Res 2482 (2019), the Security Council, citing threats to international security, called on all Member States to strengthen measures to prevent international terrorist and organised crime networks from acquiring weapons, explosives and other related material.

  68. 68.

    United States District Court for the Central District of California, U.S. v. Rami Najm Asad-Ghanem, Amended Minutes of Guilty Plea (Case 2:15-cr-00704-SJO), 29 October 2018.

  69. 69.

    U.S. Attorney’s Office (2019a).

  70. 70.

    SC (2011), Article 9.

  71. 71.

    Wood (2015).

References

Case Law

  • Corr. fr. Bruxelles (47e ch.), procureur fédéral v. Jacques Monsieur, jugement (n° de greffe 02923), 1 juin 2017, inéd.

    Google Scholar 

  • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), Hyde v Queen, Judgement (Case No: 201300289 B2; 201304192 B2), 15 April 2014.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerechtshof ’s-Gravenhage (Eerste Aanleg), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:RBSGR:2006:AX7098), 7 juni 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerechtshof ’s-Gravenhage (Hoger Beroep), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSGR:2008:BC6068), 10 maart 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerechtshof ’s-Hertogenbosch, Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2017:1760), 21 april 2017.

    Google Scholar 

  • High Court (Western Cape Division, Cape Town), Augustinus Petrus Maria Kouwenhoven v. The Minister of Police et al., Judgment (Case n° 1477/2018), 19 September 2019a.

    Google Scholar 

  • High Court (Western Cape Division, Cape Town), Southern African Litigation Centre v. The Minister of Home Affairs et al., Founding Affidavit (Case n° 18052/2019b), s.d.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoge Raad (Cassatie), Kouwenhoven, Uitspraak (ECLI:NL:HR:2010:BK8132), 20 april 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  • Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Prosecutor v. Charles Ghankay Taylor, SCSL-03-01-T, Trial Chamber II, SCSL, 18 May 2012

    Google Scholar 

  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, U.S. v. Dolarian, Government’s Brief in Support of Motion to Detain Defendant Ara Garabed Dolarian (Case No. 1:19-MJ-00106-EPG), 20 May 2019.

    Google Scholar 

  • United States District Court for the Central District of California, U.S. v. Rami Najm Asad-Ghanem, Amended Minutes of Guilty Plea (Case 2:15-cr-00704-SJO), 29 October 2018.

    Google Scholar 

Laws, Treaties and United Nations Instruments

  • Arms Trade Treaty (2013) UN Doc. A/CONF.217/2013/L.3. 27 March 2013, adopted by Resolution 67/234B of the General Assembly, New York, on 2 April 2013; UNTS Volume 3013; in force 24 December 2014.

    Google Scholar 

  • Charter of the United Nations, New York, 1945

    Google Scholar 

  • ECOWAS Convention (2006) ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and Other Related Materials, adopted by the Economic Community of West African States in Abuja on 14 June 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • European Union (2003) Council Common Position of 23 June on the Control of Arms Brokering. Brussels: EU (EU document 2003/468/CFSP), 2003

    Google Scholar 

  • Firearms Protocol (2001) Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (‘Firearms Protocol’). Adopted by resolution 55/255 of the General Assembly, New York, on 31 May 2001. UNTS 2326; in force 3 July 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kinshasa Convention (2010) Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition, Parts and Components that Can Be Used for Their Manufacture, Repair or Assembly, adopted by the Economic Community of Central African States in Kinshasa on 30 April 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nairobi Protocol (2004) Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States, adopted by the East African Community in Nairobi on 21 April 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Conventional Arms Control Act 2002 [amended 2008]. South Africa.

    Google Scholar 

  • Organization of American States (2003) Amendments to the Model Regulation for the Control of the International movement of Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition - Broker Regulations. CICAD/doc1271/03, 13 November 2003

    Google Scholar 

  • OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (1997), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, signed in Paris, 17 December 1997

    Google Scholar 

  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (2003) Best Practice Guide on National Control of Brokering Activities. Handbook of Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons. 19 September. FSC. GAL/63/03/Rev 2. 2003

    Google Scholar 

  • Registration and Licensing of Brokers C.F.R. 22 Part 129 (2020). United States of America.

    Google Scholar 

  • SADC Protocol (2001) Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials, adopted by the Southern African Development Community in Blantyre on 14 August 2001

    Google Scholar 

  • United Nations Convention Against Corruption (2003), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, 31 October 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  • United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (‘PoA’). UN Document A/CONF.192/15 of 20 July 2001 (PoA, 2001).

    Google Scholar 

  • Wassenaar Arrangement (2002), Statement of Understanding on Arms Brokerage. Adopted during the Plenary Meeting, Vienna, 11-12 December 2002

    Google Scholar 

  • Wassenaar Arrangement (2016) Best Practices for Effective Legislation on Arms Brokering. Adopted originally in 2003 and amended during the Plenary Meeting, Vienna, 6-8 December 2016

    Google Scholar 

Books, Articles and Reports

  • Amnesty International Canada (2019) Letter to the Canadian Minister of Justice

    Google Scholar 

  • ATT Secretariat (2020) Reports by States Parties - Initial Report on Measures to Implement the Arms Trade Treaty, in Accordance with Article 13(1). ATT Secretariat, Geneva (as of 11 April 2020) (https://thearmstradetreaty.org). Accessed 11 April 2020

  • Behr M (2020) Cape court rules that Dutch war criminal won’t be extradited. IOL (23 February 2020)

    Google Scholar 

  • Bulzomi A, Danssaert P, Finardi S, Matthysen K (2014) Supply chains and transport corridors in East Africa. International Peace Information Service vzw, Antwerp

    Google Scholar 

  • Chase S, York G (2019) Quebec lobbying firm may have broken Sudan sanctions with deal ‘striving’ to supply equipment for military. The Globe and Mail (28 June 2019).

    Google Scholar 

  • Cilliers J (2018) Violence in Africa: trends, drivers and prospects to 2023. Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria

    Google Scholar 

  • GA (2007) The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects. Note by the Secretary-General (30 August 2007). UN Document A/62/163

    Google Scholar 

  • Global Witness (2001) Taylor-made: the pivotal role of Liberia’s forests in regional conflicts. Global Witness, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Kendall S, da Silva C (2016) Beyond the ICC: state responsibility for the Arms Trade in Africa. In: Kamari Clarke K, Knottnerus A, de Volder E (eds) Africa and the ICC: perceptions of justice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 407–436

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Lamb G (2009) The regulation of arms brokering in Southern Africa. Disarmament Forum 3:43–51

    Google Scholar 

  • Muggah R, Sang F (2013) The enemy within: rethinking arms availability in sub-Saharan Africa. Confl Secur Dev (13)4:417–447

    Google Scholar 

  • Nieberg P (2019) More ‘Moral’ Than Netanyahu: Ex-Israeli Spook Defends Lobbying for Sudanese Junta. Haaretz (22 July 2019)

    Google Scholar 

  • Parker S, Green G (2012) A decade of Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons - Analysis of National Reports. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, Geneva

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (1996a) Letter dated 26 January 1996 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (29 January 1996). UN Document S/1996/67

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (1996b) Letter dated 13 March 1996 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (14 March 1996). UN Document S/1996/195

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (1997) Letter dated 1 November 1996 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (24 December 1997). UN Document S/1997/1010

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (1998a) Letter dated 22 January 1998 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council 26 January 1998). UN Document S/1998/63

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (1998b) Letter dated 18 August 1998 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (19 August 1998). UN Document S/1998/777

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (1998c) Letter dated 18 November 1998 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (18 November 1998). UN Document S/1998/1096

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (2006) Letter dated 8 December 2006 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire addressed to the President of the Security Council (12 December 2006). UN Document S/2006/964

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (2011) UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (26 February 2011). UN Document S/RES/1970 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (2012) Letter dated 11 April 2012 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire addressed to the President of the Security Council (14 April 2012). UN Document S/2012/196

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (2017) UN Security Council Resolution 2370 (2 August 2017). UN Document S/RES/2370 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  • SC (2019) UN Security Council Resolution 2482 (19 July 2019). UN Document S/RES/2482 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  • Transparency International (2018) Out of the shadows: promoting openness and accountability in the global arms industry. Transparency International, London

    Google Scholar 

  • UNODA (2017) National Reports on the implementation of the Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI). United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, New York City. https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/salw/programme-of-action/. (Accessed 10 March 2017)

  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California (2019a) Arms Trafficker Convicted in Anti-Aircraft Missiles Scheme and of Other Arms Offenses Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison. Department of Justice (20 August 2019)

    Google Scholar 

  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California (2019b) Former Fresno Resident Charged with Illegally Brokering the Sale of Military Arms to a Foreign Government and Money Laundering. Department of Justice (20 May 2019)

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Damme W (2018) Jacques Monsieur–4 jaar cel. Willy Van Damme’s Weblog (19 October 2018). (https://willyvandamme.wordpress.com/2018/10/19/jacques-monsieur-4-jaar-cel/). Accessed 11 April 2020

  • Wood B (2015) Article 10. Brokering. In: da Silva C, Wood B (eds) Weapons and international law: the Arms Trade Treaty. Larcier, Gent, pp 172–190

    Google Scholar 

  • Wood B, Peleman J (1999) The arms fixers. Controlling the brokers and shipping agents. Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers, Oslo

    Google Scholar 

  • Wood B (2006) ‘Strengthening Compliance with UN arms Embargoes – key challenges for monitoring and verification’. United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs Occasional Paper No 10 (March 2006)

    Google Scholar 

  • Yihdego Z (2007) The Arms Trade and International Law. Hart, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • York G (2019a) Canadian lobbying firm hired for US$6- million to polish image of Sudan’s military regime. The Globe and Mail (27 June 2019)

    Google Scholar 

  • York G (2019b) Amnesty International calls for probe of Canadian lobbyist firm’s contract with Sudan military regime. The Globe and Mail (1 July 2019).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Brian Wood .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Additional information

The authors are responsible for the final text of this article. They wish to thank Professor Zeray Yihdego and the anonymous referee for kindly offering some comments on an earlier draft of the text. The authors also wish to thank the editors of Africa in Fact for permission to use content from a shorter and more simple article on the same subject written by the authors for a general audience—see Africa in Fact, Issue 52, January-March 2020 (https://gga.org/news-events/africa-in-fact/).

Annex: Definitions and Descriptions of “Broker” and “Brokering” contained in Regional and Multilateral Instruments

This table is an updated version of a table previously published in Wood (2015), pp. 184–185.

Annex: Definitions and Descriptions of “Broker” and “Brokering” contained in Regional and Multilateral Instruments

Instrument

Broker

Brokering

ECOWAS Convention

2006, Art. 1(8)

 

‘Work carried out as an intermediary between any manufacturer, supplier or distributor of small arms and light weapons and any buyer or user; this includes the provision of financial support and the transportation of small arms and light weapons’

EU Common Position

2003, Art. 2(3)

Persons and entities who buy, sell or arrange the transfer of such items that are in their ownership from a third country to any other third country, or …

‘Negotiating or arranging transactions that may involve the transfer of items on the EU Common List of military equipment from a third country to any other third country’

Kinshasa Convention,

2010, Art. 2 (l-m)

‘Broker: Any person or entity acting as an intermediary that brings together relevant parties and arrange or facilitates a potential transaction of small arms and light weapons in return for some form of benefit, whether financial or otherwise’ ‘Brokers, including financial and shipping agents, who do not register with the competent national authorities, shall be considered illegal.’

‘Brokering activities: can take place in the broker’s country of nationality, residence or registration; they can also take place in another country. The small arms and light weapons do not necessarily pass through the territory of the country where the brokering activity takes place, nor does the broker necessarily take ownership of them’

SADC Protocol

2001, Art .1

and

Nairobi Protocol

2004, Art. 1

(Nairobi Protocol) “Broker” is a person who acts:

(a) for a commission, advantage or cause, whether pecuniary or otherwise;

(b) to facilitate the transfer, documentation and/or payment in respect of any transaction relating to the buying or selling of small arms and light weapons; or

(c) as an intermediary between any manufacturer, or supplier of, or dealer in small arms and light weapons and any buyer or recipient thereof’

(SADC and Nairobi Protocols) ‘”brokering” means acting:

(a) for a commission, advantage or cause, whether pecuniary or otherwise; (here the SADC Protocol includes “or”, which is apparently a drafting error)

(b) to facilitate the transfer, documentation and/or payment in respect of any transaction relating to the buying or selling of small arms and light weapons [firearms, ammunition or other related materials]; or

(c) thereby acting as intermediary between any manufacturer, or supplier of, or dealer in small arms and light weapons and any buyer or recipient thereof’

OAS Model Regulations

2003, Art.1

“Broker” or “Arms Broker” means any natural or legal person who, in return for a fee, commission or other consideration, acts on behalf of others to negotiate or arrange contracts, purchases, sales or other means of transfer of firearms, their parts or components or ammunition

“Brokering activities” means acting as a broker and includes, manufacturing, exporting, importing, financing, mediating, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, freight-forwarding, supplying, and delivering firearms, their parts or components or ammunition or any other act performed by a person, that lies outside the scope of his regular business activities and that directly facilitates the brokering activities.

OSCE

Best Practice Guide

2003, part II

A broker is anyone who directly performs an activity defined as a brokering activity in the exercise of his own commercial or legal relations. The acts of natural persons, especially employees, are to be ascribed to the legal entity.

Note:

Provided that brokering activities are sufficiently clearly defined, an explicit definition of the term “broker” might be dispensable.

“Core brokering activity” includes:

• Acquisition of SALW located in one third country for the purpose of transfer to another third country;

• Mediation between sellers and buyers of SALW to facilitate the transfer of these weapons from one third country to another (synonyms for “mediation” are “to arrange”, “to negotiate” and “to organize” arms deals);

• The indication of an opportunity for such a transaction to the seller or buyer (in particular the introduction of a seller or buyer in return for a fee or other consideration).

Wassenaar Arrangement

2003 and amended 2016,

para.1

…a licence or written approval should be obtained from the competent authorities of the Participating State where these activities take place whether the broker is a citizen, resident or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the Participating State. Similarly, a licence may also be required regardless of where the brokering activities take place.

Participating States may also define brokering activities to include cases where the arms and military equipment are exported from their own territory

[Brokering] activities of negotiating or arranging contracts, selling, trading or arranging the transfer of arms and related military equipment controlled by Wassenaar Participating States from one third country to another third country… [also] include cases where the arms and military equipment are exported from their own territory.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Wood, B., Danssaert, P. (2020). Africa and the Regulation of Transnational Arms Brokering: Challenges to Implement International Standards. In: Yihdego, Z., Desta, M.G., Hailu, M.B. (eds) Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law 2019. Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law, vol 2019. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55912-0_9

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55912-0_9

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-55911-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-55912-0

  • eBook Packages: Law and CriminologyLaw and Criminology (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics