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Gabon gained independence from France in 1960. Since then, it has remained one of the most stable countries in Africa, with one of the highest per capita incomes on the continent.1 In general, arms trafficking is not prevalent in Gabon. However, the country’s recent instability has resulted in arms brokers seeking to sell weapons. In 2019, to restore democracy in Gabon, armed rebels attempted a coup that failed and led to their being arrested or shot.2

The country’s guiding gun control legislation includes the Law on the System for Arms and Ammunition of 1983. Gabon has signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty.3


1 “World Economic Outlook Database,” International Monetary Fund, 2022,,616,642,646,728,&s=NGDPD,PPPGDP,NGDPDPC,PPPPC,&sy=2018&ey=2027&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=,&br=1.

2 "Faits et Chronologie du Gabon," Souveraineté Gabon, 2021,

3 Philip Alpers and Marcus Wilson, Gabon – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022),

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Map of Gabon

Further information

Accidental explosions

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

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 Gabon.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Gabon.


To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for Gabon:

  • Strengthening of national and subregional mechanisms for combating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons;
  • Increase in transparency through the establishment of subregional registers of national stockpiles of small arms and light weapons;
  • Limiting the demand for light weapons; and
  • Destruction of surplus ammunition.

Source: "Update Report No. 2: Small Arms in Central Africa," UN Security Council, March 12, 2010,

Published Date: Monday 21 of August 2023