Darfur is awash with more than two million unlicensed firearms. Every day, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) claim lives in Darfur. Ongoing violent conflict between different rebel groups and the Government of Sudan makes the containment of arms a hard task. The insecurity creates a vicious cycle, as people consider owning a gun the only viable way to protect themselves and their beloved ones.
To alleviate the resulting insecurity at the community level, international actors such as the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in cooperation with the Government of Sudan, support a traditional-leader led approach to control arms.
This approach has been piloted since 2011 in West and South Darfur and advocates marking and registration, but not collection, of illegal, civilian-owned weapons as a first step in designing an effective arms control framework. It also aims to supplement and coordinate with existing activities on arms control, community security and community vocational training to design tailored programming for communities affected by armed violence.
The film ‘A call for arms: Community security and arms control in Darfur’, produced by Xchange Perspectives (XCP) for BICC, sheds light on the traditional-leader led approach to control arms, outlining different aspects of the initiative and how it benefits the people of Darfur. It as well features the work of the Joint Chad-Sudan Border Protection Force, which aims at curbing the cross-border smuggling of illicit arms.
The film was realised with the generous support of the German Federal Foreign Office.
The film is available in: