Skip to content

Botswana gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. Since then, the country has enjoyed political stability and remained peaceful in a conflict-ridden region.1 The use of arms and ammunition has been regulated by the Arms and Ammunition Act since 1981. Botswana has restrictive arms-related policies and low armed crime rates. These are compromised, however, by the more permissive policies of neighbouring countries.2

In 2001, Botswana committed to a consensus decision of the UN to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA).3 Botswana reported in 2018 that it had completed the destruction of all of its cluster munition stockpiles.4

1 Johan Brosché, "Half a Century of Peace in Botswana," Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, April 2017,

2 UNDP (UN Development Programme), How to Guide SALW Legislation (Geneva: UNDP, 2008),

3 Philip Alpers and Michael Picard, Botswana – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022),

"Botswana Completes Destruction of Its Cluster Munition Stockpiles More than a Year ahead of Convention Deadline," Convention on Cluster Munitions, November 22, ​​​​2018,

Launch the country dashboard

Map of Botswana

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Botswana.

Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

Insufficient information on cases of diversion in Botswana.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Botswana.


To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following need has been identified for Botswana:

  • Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles, particularly financial assistance and capacity building.

Source: Botswana, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Botswana to the UN, 2020),

Published Date: Thursday 21 of September 2023