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Botswana gained independence from the UK in 1966, and since then has experienced political stability and remained peaceful in a conflict-ridden region.[1] Since 1981, the use of arms and ammunition has been regulated by the Arms and Ammunition Act. The country has restrictive policies related to arms, and low armed crime rate. However, this is compromised by more permissive policies of neighbouring countries.[2]

A commitment 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) was made in 2001.[3] In 2018, Botswana reported its completed destruction of all cluster munition stockpiles.[4]

[1] Brosché, Johan (2017, April): Half a Century of Peace in Botswana. Department of Peace and Conflict Research Uppsala University.

[2] UNDP (2008, July): How to Guide SALW Legislation.

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

[4] Convention on Cluster Munitions (2018, November 22): Botswana Completes Destruction of Its Cluster Munition Stockpiles More than a Year ahead of Convention Deadline.

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Map of Botswana

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the beginning of data collection in 1979 by the Small Arms Survey, no accidental explosions were reported in Botswana.

Source: Small Arms Survey (December 2021): Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS). Database.

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, in particular – financial assistance and capacity building.

Source: PoA Report 2020, Botswana.

Published Date: Tuesday 17 of January 2023