The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has issued a warning about the possibility that a portion of the armaments that Western nations have sent to Ukraine are starting to find their way to Africa.
When he was speaking to the heads of state in neighboring countries at Lake Chad Basin Council, he issued the following warning: “Regrettably, the predicament in the Sahel, as well as the frenzied war throughout Ukraine, serve as main sources of weapons that beef up the ranks of terrorists in the region.”
“A sizeable fraction of the weaponry and ammunition that were acquired to carry out the conflict in Libya, continue to make their way towards the Lake Chad Region as well as other areas in the Sahel. “Weapons that are now being used in the conflict in Russia and Ukraine are starting to make their way to the area,” he continued.
He said that this unlawful importation of guns into the region poses a danger to the overall peace and security of the region as a whole.
The countries of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon are all a part of the Lake Chad region, which is an economically and socially linked territory in the center and west of Africa. Access to such weapons will only serve to make an already volatile situation even more volatile in this region, which has been suffering a rise in extremist violence.
Buhari also used this occasion to urge his colleagues to increase their security cooperation in order to combat the smuggling of weaponry and took advantage of the chance to do so. He said that Nigeria will scale up its military cooperation in the fight that the nations are conducting against terrorists affiliated with ISIS and Boko Haram, which is something that would be much more difficult as they acquire weapons that were originally intended for Ukraine.
Concerns on a global scale about the probable diversion of weaponry
The Finnish police issued a warning around a month ago that a number of the weapons that were sent to Ukraine already had found their way into the wrong hands.
Christer Ahlgren, the head of criminal organizations for the bureau of investigations of the Finnish police, stated that weapons that were initially sent to Kyiv, such as pistols, battle drones, grenades, and assault weapons, had been discovered across several European countries. These countries include Finland, Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
He also said that 3 of the largest biker gangs in the country have restarted their routes for smuggling guns into Ukraine. These routes were previously in use.
He remarked, “We have been speaking about the emergence of organized crime and violent criminal networks for decades, but we haven’t been listened to.” He said this because he believed that no one was paying attention to the warnings.
The Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, has also issued a warning that weapons supplied by the West to Ukraine are finding their way into the underground market and are beginning to spread across western Asia. According to Russian Foreign Affairs minister Sergey Lavrov, missiles such as Stingers and Javelins that had been given by Western nations were also being sold on the black market and many were turning up in regions such as Kosovo and Albania.
Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that NATO military shipments are finding their way into the possession of terrorists, radicals, and criminal organizations in the Mid East, central Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Europol said in July that it has been working alongside Ukraine to lessen the danger of weapons trafficking. They made this announcement while acknowledging that there is a possibility of guns entering the wrong hands in combat zones.
“In reference to the conflict in Ukraine, Europol has issued a warning that the widespread availability of firearms, as well as explosives in Ukraine, may result in an increase in the number of firearms and munitions that are smuggled into the EU through pre-existing smuggling routes or through online marketplaces. They stated in a statement that after the battle is over, “this danger might potentially become considerably more severe.”
The American government has said that they are convinced that the guns that were provided to Ukraine, which include high-tech missiles and launchers, made it to the front lines; nevertheless, analysts have stated that tracking down all light weapons is almost difficult.
Despite the fact that the United States has revealed a strategy to prevent the diversion of guns, several politicians have been calling for more stringent control.