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The Alarming Rise of Unregistered Firearms in Southern Africa: A Challenge to Peace and Security

FILE: Illegal firearms. Picture: EWN

According to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, the southern African region is facing a significant challenge due to the circulation of illegal firearms. It is estimated that around 3.8 million unregistered firearms are in circulation in South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. This poses a threat to the region’s stability and security.

The widespread availability of illegal firearms has obviously led to a rise in violent crimes, including robbery and murder. In many cases, these firearms have fallen into the hands of organized criminal groups, who use them to further their illegal activities, such as drug trafficking and smuggling.

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The situation in Southern Africa is not unique, as illegal firearms pose a challenge to peace and security in several locations across the globe. The majority of illegal firearms in the region are believed to come from illegal arms trafficking networks operating across international borders along with the governments that do not have proper control over their own firearms (like police and military). This highlights the need for increased cooperation between states and international organizations to tackle this issue.

In order to address this growing challenge, it is important for governments in the region to take a multi-faceted approach to the problem of illegal firearms. This should include stronger measures to stop the illegal trade and illegal possession of firearms, as well as efforts to disrupt the illegal arms trafficking networks that fuel the illicit trade. In addition, there must be increased investment in law enforcement and criminal justice systems to help prevent and combat the use of illegal firearms in criminal activities. In South Africa’s case and so too with Mozambique and Zimbabwe, criminal justice leadership must have integrity for any illegal firearms mission to be successful.

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In conclusion, the rise of illegal firearms in Southern Africa is a serious concern for the region and its people. It is essential that the governments of South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe take swift and decisive action to address this issue, with support from the international community. Only by working together to disrupt illegal arms trafficking networks, and invest in law enforcement and criminal justice systems can we hope to overcome this challenge and ensure a safer future for all.

In the mean time, more civilians should lawfully arm themselves to be able to defend themselves, their families and communities. A lawfully armed citizen is an asset to your community.

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