Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons on Security of Hodan District in Banadir Region, Somalia 2006-2017
Khalif, Hassan Bedel
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Over many years and decades, Somalia has been in the limelight and has experienced civil strife internally. These actions have been attributed to the easy access to small arms and their proliferation within Somalia. This study revolves around three objectives: It examines the sources of illicit small arms in Hodan district of Somalia; examine the impact of the spread of light weapons in Hodan district of Somalia and lastly, it assesses the mitigation measures against the spread of small arms and light weapons in Hodan district. In terms of methodology, this study uses a descriptive research design. Similarly, in order to collect data, research instruments such as questionnaires, interview schedule as well as observation schedule were used. The study also relied on purposive sampling technique in order to get key informants. Nevertheless, random sampling method was also used in order to ascertain the extent to which light weapons and small arms have proliferated in Hodan district region. The study uses small arms demand theory and conflict theory as theoretical tools for analysis of the data. The study has demonstrated that the fragile nature of Somalia state, clan conflicts, existence of militia and terrorist group, the porous borders closer to Hodan district as well as illegal arms markets within and outside Somalia are the main sources of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Hodan district. This has led to insecurity, violation of people’s rights and more so women and the rights of children. Additionally, the proliferation of SALW has impacted negatively on the security and has also undermined sustainable economic development of Hodan district. Consequently, the study is of the view that there is need for multi-sectoral approach towards solving the problem of the proliferation of SALW in Hodan district. This study expects to inform policy on how states can monitor and control accessibility of firearms by unauthorized personnel for purposes of ensuring the security of citizens not only in Hodan district but also across Somalia as a state with a view to stabilizing the wider state of Somalia politically. In conclusion, therefore, the study recommends that there is need for interventions in capacity building in the security sector as well as sensitization and awareness creation among the civilians on the need to disarm. Moreover, the study further recommends that there is need to engage technology for purposes of keeping electronic records of arms while at the same time destroying obsolete stock of arms belonging to the government so that these arms do not get into the hands of civilians and militia groups.