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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 rebellion that followed were characterised by a high demand for ammunition. More than a decade of armed conflicts resulted in a sharp increase in the amount of weapons and ammunition in the country. An arms embargo was imposed on Côte d’Ivoire by the UN Security Council in 2004, but the illegal supply of ammunition into the country continued to occur. During the crisis of 2011, the number of illicit arms in circulation increased significantly.1

In 2013, the situation in Côte d’Ivoire stabilised, and the government subsequently took steps to reform its security sector. A national weapon and ammunition management baseline assessment was conducted in 2016, in cooperation with the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).2 UNMAS provides the country with financial, technical and other assistance to develop national capacity for weapons and ammunition stockpile management. The Halo Trust has also provided support to reduce the threat posed by insecure weapons and ammunition.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.4

1 Holger Anders, Identifying Sources Small-calibre Ammunition in Côte d’Ivoire (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2014),

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

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

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

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Map of Côte d'Ivoire

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, three accidental explosions have been reported in Côte d’Ivoire.

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








State (military)





Non-state (actor)





Foreign (intervention)



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

Cases of diversion

Numerous cases of diversion have been reported in Côte d’Ivoire.

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





Western Côte d’Ivoire

The seizure of former president Laurent Gbagbo was 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) resulted in human rights violations and looted armouries and ammunition storage depots.

Source: Holger Anders, Identifying Sources Small-calibre Ammunition in Côte d’Ivoire


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

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


Tonnes of ammunition





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


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 computerised weapons management and developing capacities for the establishment of a multidimensional PSSM center; and
  • Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles through the establishment of 12 mobile explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) units and the implementation of 12 mobile improvised explosive device (IED) management units.

Source: Côte d’Ivoire, 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 Côte d’Ivoire to the UN, 2022),

Published Date: Monday 13 of November 2023