Having experienced more than 20 coups d’état or attempted coups since its independence in 1975, Comoros has historically been marked by political instability and power struggles between the three islands of the archipelago.1 Conflict in Comoros is considered endemic but is generally small scale, with violent clashes resulting in relatively low numbers of casualties most of the time.2 A large quantity of arms and ammunition have reportedly remained in the hands of non-government armed forces after each coup d’état and period of political crisis, and their collection continues to be a challenge.3
In terms of weapons and ammunition management, Comoros notably received support from the African Union, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and France to enhance its capacities for illegal arms and ammunition collection, as well as disarmament and demobilisation processes.4 It has also received assistance as part of regional assistance programmes from the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC); the Multinational Small Arms and Ammunition Group (MSAG); the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA); and the Small Arms Survey.5
1 Emma Svensson, The African Union’s Operations in the Comoros: MAES and Operation Democracy (Stockholm: Swedish Defence Research Agency, 2008), https://au.int/sites/default/files/documents/39226-doc-176._the_african_union_operations_in_comoros-maes_and_operations_democracy.pdf.
2 “Comoros Short Brief,” African Politics, African Peace, World Peace Foundation, July 2007, https://sites.tufts.edu/wpf/files/2017/07/Comoros.pdf.
3 African Union, “Priority Plan for peace building in the Comoros,” December 2008, https://au.int/sites/default/files/documents/39228-doc-178._priority_plan_for_peace_building_in_the_comoros.pdf.
4 Svensson, The African Union’s Operations in the Comoros; Robert Muggah, “Managing ‘Post-conflict’ Zones: DDR and Weapons Reduction,” in Small Arms Survey 2005: Weapons at War, Small Arms Survey (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2005), https://www.smallarmssurvey.org/sites/default/files/resources/Small-Arms-Survey-2005-Chapter-10-EN.pdf.
5 “Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022, https://a-map.gichd.org.
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Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Comoros.
Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021, https://smallarmssurvey.org/database/unplanned-explosions-munitions-sites-uems.
Cases of diversion
Insufficient information on cases of diversion in Comoros.
Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Comoros.
To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for Comoros:
- Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management; and
- Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles.
Source: Comoros, 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 the Comoros to the UN, 2018).