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Until the 1990s, Côte d’Ivoire satisfied its ammunition needs for defence and security mostly through imports from France. A mutiny by soldiers in 2002 and the years of subsequent rebels were characterized by a high demand for ammunition. More than a decade of armed conflicts resulted in a sharp increase in the number of weapons and the amount of ammunition in the country. An arms embargo was imposed on Côte d’Ivoire by the UN Security Council in 2004, however the illegal supply of ammunition into the country was still taking place. During the crisis of 2011, the number of illicit arms in circulation increased significantly.1

In 2013, the situation in Côte d’Ivoire stabilised, which was followed by the government’s efforts to reform its security sector. A national weapon and ammunition management (WAM) baseline assessment was implemented in 2016 in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).2 UNMAS provides the country with financial, technical, and other assistance on developing national capacity to manage weapons and ammunition stockpiles. A support towards reduction of the threat posed by insecure weapons and ammunition is also being provided by the Halo Trust.3

Guiding gun control legislation comprises the Law of 1998 on Arms, Ammunition, and Explosive Material. Côte d’Ivoire has signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).4

1 Holger, Anders (2014, June): Identifying Sources Small-calibre Ammunition in Côte d’Ivoire. Small Arms Survey, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

2 UNIDIR (2020): Weapons and Ammunition Management Country Insight: Côte d’Ivoire.

3 GICHD (2012): UNMAS Physical Security and Stockpile Management Pilot Programme Côte d'Ivoire Case Study.

4 Alpers, Philip, Michael Picard and Clara Mourlevat (2022): Côte d’Ivoire – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law. Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney.

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Map of Côte d'Ivoire

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the beginning of data collection in 1979 by the Small Arms Survey, three accidental explosions were reported in Côte d’Ivoire (Table 1).

Table 1. Accidental explosions in Côte d’Ivoire (1979-2021)








State (military)





Non-state (actor)





Foreign (intervention)



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

Cases of diversion

Numerous cases of diversion have been reported in Côte d’Ivoire (Table 2).

Table 2. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition, and explosives in Côte d’Ivoire





Western Côte d’Ivoire

Seizure of former president Laurent Gbagbo followed by further armed violence and numerous attacks against defence and security installations.


Throughout the country

A long-lasting conflict between the north (held by the rebels) and the south (controlled by ex-President Laurent Gbagbo’s forces) that resulted in human rights violations and looted armouries and ammunition storage depots.

Source: Holger, Anders (2014, June): Identifying Sources Small-calibre Ammunition in Côte d’Ivoire. Small Arms Survey, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.


To decrease the above-mentioned risks of accidental explosions and diversion, Côte d’Ivoire has continuously disposed of its ammunition since 2011 (Table 3).

Table 3. Disposal of tonnes of ammunition in Côte d’Ivoire


Tonnes of ammunition





Sources: HALO Trust (2013, February 25): Ivory Coast Prime Minister Visits HALO Trust Weapons Cutting.; UNMAS (2015, May 13): Destruction de 110 Tonnes de Munitions Inutilisables & Obsolètes. Twitter.


To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for Côte d’Ivoire:

  • Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management by developing technical capacities on stockpile management of weapons and ammunition; strengthening the physical security of weapons and ammunition storage sites; developing capacities in terms of computerized weapons management; and developing capacities for the establishment of a multidimensional PSSM center.
  • Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles by the establishment of 12 mobile EOD units; and implementation of 12 mobile Management of IEDs units.

Source: PoA Report 2022, Côte d’Ivoire.

Published Date: Monday 3 of April 2023