Even as countries around the world have started to sign on to and ratify a landmark international treaty that would for the first time regulate the international trade in conventional weapons, experts here are warning that the treaty in itself will not be able to maintain peace and security in Africa.
Viktor Bout earned a few monikers in his heyday: “Merchant of Death”, “Sanctions Buster” and “Lord of War”. He’s the poster boy for illicit arms brokers – a guild of shadowy intermediaries who link arms suppliers to their end users.
A lot of attention goes to the U.S.-made weapons in the hands of criminal groups in this Latin American country. But there is little talk of another problem: the large number of light weapons in the hands of civilians.
An investigation by the Conflict Awareness Project
has exposed an active arms trading network of associates of former trafficker Viktor Bout that involves companies from the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom, among other countries.