Skip to content

Having been embroiled in an internal conflict and a brief war against Eritrea in the 1990s, Djibouti has regularly experienced periods of violence, mainly during elections. The country also hosts key foreign military bases belonging to China, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, which is considered to increase the risk of terrorist activity in its territory.

Several reports, however, have pointed to Djibouti’s growing role in the illicit regional transfer of weapons and ammunition – with some even referring to the country as a new “trafficking hub” in the Horn of Africa. This has resulted in a significant proliferation of weapons and ammunition in the country, which has, in turn, led to growing concerns about armed crime and terrorist activity.

In terms of weapons and ammunition management, Djibouti has implemented a national framework regulating the sale and use of small arms and light weapons. The country has also signed the Nairobi Protocol and established a national focal point on small arms and light weapons.

Sources: Matthias Schwarz, “Arms Transfers in the Gulf of Aden. Shining the Spotlight on Regional Dynamics,” Peace Research Institute Frankfurt Blog,; Dominique Dye, “Arms Control in a Rough Neighbourhood: The Case of the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa,” Institute for Security Studies, Paper 179, 2009,; “Djibouti: Elections Tampering and Arms Smuggling Allegations Mar President’s Fifth Term,” Pangea-Risk (Africa & Middle East Forecasting), April 13, 2021,

Launch the country dashboard

Map of Djibouti

Further information

Accidental explosions

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


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 Djibouti.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Djibouti.


No needs have been identified for Djibouti.

Published Date: Friday 22 of September 2023