Silencing the guns in cities: urbanisation and arms trafficking in Bamako and Lagos


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This study explores the complex relationships between urbanisation and transnational organised crime, focusing on how illicit arms shape urban violence and are leveraged by criminal groups. It maps the nexus between arms trafficking actors and criminal groups operating in other organised markets in urban contexts and proposes interventions that engage with diverse layers of urban governance and stakeholders in the cities. The study focuses on Bamako and Lagos as urban centres in which arms trafficking and urbanisation intersect.

About the author

Oluwole Ojewale is the ENACT Regional Organised Crime Observatory (ROCO) coordinator for Central Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal. His research interests span transnational organised crime, urban governance, security, conflict and resilience. Before joining the ISS he headed the Research and Strategy Development Department at the CLEEN Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria.

Field interviews in Bamako and Lagos were coordinated by Allan Ngari.

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