Preventing Diversion: Comparing ATT and African Measures for Importing States

Paul Holtom and Benjamin Jongleux
Briefing Paper

The diversion of conventional arms from licit to illicit entities can occur at any stage of the arms transfer chain. Preventing diversion therefore requires varied measures that effectively tackle the issue along the chain.

The Arms Trade Treaty Working Group on Effective Treaty Implementation (WGETI) compiled a paper on such prevention measures, which relied heavily on the experiences of major exporting states. Several African sub-regional instruments contain measures to prevent and detect diversion for states that are not major exporters. This Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper compares diversion prevention measures for importing states as identified in the WGETI paper and African sub-regional measures.

It finds that the African instruments lack articles on post-delivery cooperation with the exporting state, compliance with assurances on re-export or retransfer, in addition to measures to address identified cases of diversion. However, it also finds that these instruments contain prevention measures that are not in the WGETI paper, including provisions on modes of transport and official entry points. Incorporating experiences from ATT states parties from Africa can help inform discussions on the role of importing states to prevent diversion.

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Keywords: Diversion Illicit trafficking Arms Trade Treaty