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The political and military situation remains stable in Malawi. However, because of past conflicts and its geographical location (e.g. proximity to Mozambique), the country still faces weapons and ammunition trafficking. Due to this situation, systems for ammunition management need to contribute to the proper storage and marking of weapons, as well as prevent the cross-border diversion and trafficking of weapons and ammunition.1

The African Union, RECSA, the Halo Trust, BICC and MSAG are on the ground to support the through-life management of ammunition by working with the Ministry of Defence of Malawi. Efforts have included Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) training with police and military forces, providing Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) courses, building armoury and ammunition storehouses, destruction of obsolete ammunition stocks, and train-the-trainer regional programmes in ammunition management.2


1Mthembu-Salter, Gregory. “Trading Life, Trading Death: The Flow of Small Arms from Mozambique to Malawi.” Published by the Small Arms Survey in 2009.

2See AMAP Dataset.

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Map of Malawi

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the beginning of data collection in 1979 by the Small Arms Survey, only one accidental explosion was reported in Malawi.

Table. 1 Accidental explosions in Malawi (1979-2021)

Year Location Owner/manager Deaths Injuries
1992 Mvera State (military) 0 N/A

Source: Small Arms Survey. n.d. Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS). Database.

Cases of diversion

Some cases of diversion have been reported since 2000 in Malawi.

Table 2: Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition, and explosives in Malawi since 2000

Year Location Description
2022 Zomba

An unknown man broke into the Zomba Police Station and stole an assault rifle with ten rounds of ammunition.



An unknown soldier from Malawi Defence Force (MDF) stole a revolver gun and live ammunition from Cobbe military barracks.



An assault rifle and 15 rounds of ammunition were stolen from a guard at police headquarters in Lilongwe.

Source: “Malawi Army Soldier Nabbed over Gun Theft at Cobbe Barracks.” AllAfrica, July 17, 2018. Khamula, Owen. “Malawi Police Officer Jailed for Losing Official Gun While Dozing on Duty.” Malawi Nyasa Times, September 9, 2016. Sambalikagwa, Lindiwe. “Three Malawi Police Officers Charged with Negligence over Stolen Gun.” Malawi 24, February 16, 2022.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Malawi.


No needs have been reported for Malawi.

Source: PoA Report 2010, Malawi. Please note that PoA reports focus on SALW and not specifically on ammunition.

Published Date: Thursday 30 of June 2022