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From 1986 to 2006, northern Uganda experienced a conflict involving a non-state armed group.1 As of 2022, reports state that armed violence and human rights violations persist in the country.2 Due to this instability, Uganda has very high levels of weapons and ammunition trafficking.3 The government has declared itself free of landmines; however, reports suggest that unexploded ordnance and other remnants of war remain in certain parts of the territory (although their exact location is unknown).4

The African Union; the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA); the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC); and the Multinational Small Arms and Ammunition Group (MSAG) have been working on the ground to support the through-life management of ammunition. Efforts have included destroying surplus ammunition, providing regional training on physical security and stockpile management, organising weapons and ammunition management courses, conducting assessments on national needs for ammunition management, and facilitating regional dialogues to encourage the sharing of physical security and stockpile management practices.5

1 Teddy Atim, “Managing Life after War: How Young People in Uganda Are Coping,” The Conversation, January 13, 2019,

“World Report 2022: Uganda Events of 2021,” Human Rights Watch, accessed June 28, 2022,

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

4 “In Uganda, Landmines Are Still an Ongoing Problem,” AVSI, May 21, 2019,  

5  “Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022,

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Further information

Accidental explosions

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

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

Cases of diversion

Several cases of diversion have been reported since 2000 in Uganda.

Table 1. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in Uganda since 2000






Two guns were stolen from Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces' soldiers after an assault.



An SMG rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition went missing from Oyam Central Police Station.



Two AK-47 assault rifles were stolen from a police station.



A gun was stolen from the Kakiri police station.



An AK-47 assault rifle with 22 rounds of ammunition was stolen from Iganga prison.

Sources: Wilfred Kamusiime, “Police Recorvers Stolen Gun,” Uganda Police Force, April 28, 2021,; Godfrey Eyoku, “Police Hunt for Two Guns Stolen from Lopei Outpost,” Uganda Radio Network, March 14, 2022,; Mike Opio, “Turkana Hand over Two Killer Guns Stolen from UPDF Soldiers in Attack on Ugandan Geologists,” The Kampala Report, April 7, 2022,; Charity Akullo and Patrick Ebong, “Mob Lynches Man over Gun Theft,” Monitor, March 8, 2022,; Emmanuel Busingye, “Gun Belonging to Ex RDC Recovered in Theft,” Ekyooto Uganda, July 14, 2021,


To decrease the above-mentioned risks of accidental explosions and diversion, Uganda has disposed of its ammunition since 2007.

Table 2. Disposal of tonnes of ammunition in Uganda (2007–21)


Tonnes of ammunition













Sources: “Army Destroys 200 Tonnes of Ammunition,” Monitor, January 20, 2021,; “UPDF Destroys 100 Tonnes of Old and Unwanted Ammunition,” YouTube, June 6, 2016,; “UPDF Destroys 89 Tonnes of Unserviceable Ammunition in Mubende,” NTVUganda, YouTube, April 17, 2018,; Dan Wandera and Tabu Butagira, “Army Destroys 250 Tonnes of Weapons in Nakasongola,” Monitor, May 12, 2010,; “UN, UPDF Destroy 460 Tonnes of Obsolete Ammunition,” Uganda Radio Network, November 12, 2007,; Kenneth Kazibwe, “UPDF Destroys a Tonne of Unwanted Missiles, Grenades,” Nile Post, February 15, 2020,


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

  • Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management; 
  • Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles; and
  • Financial assistance for the identification, collection and destruction of small arms and light weapons and unexploded ordance.

Source: Uganda, 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 Uganda to the UN, 2022),

Published Date: Wednesday 22 of November 2023