THE PROLIFEARTION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS IN THE HORN OF AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF KENYA.

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Security in the international system has always been a prime interest amongst States since the Westphalia Treaty era. In those times, the State existed as the main referent point of security. This is because much of the threats to security emanated from without the boundaries of jurisdiction of a State. Due to the lack of an overarching power in the international system, many states engaged in a heated arms race that eventually facilitated the two major world wars after Westphalia Treaty. The arms race did lead the rise of major powers in the international system. In  the  twenty  first  century,  however,  States  experience  threats  on  their  national  security emanating from a different area. These threats no longer emanate from without but from within. Another huge difference is that most of these threats are propagated using Small Arms and Light Weapons unlike in during the World Wars or during the Cold War where State Security was being threatened by the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The effects of SALW has been felt the world over but more brutally in the Third World. The capping characteristics of Third World countries – poor governance, weak institutions, poverty, long poorly manned and porous borders
– have led to the proliferation and misuse of these weapons. Access to these weapons by normal civilians as well as bandits, petty thieves, terrorists, amongst others, has brought about the escalation of insecurity in politically volatile areas like the Horn of Africa. The trade of these arms  by  Western  powers  to  poor  and  politically  unstable  States  in  the  Third  World  has contributed to the proliferation of these weapons hence threatening state, regional and international Security with the rise of modern crimes such as terrorism.

 

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PROF. AMB. MARIA NZOMO
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