It has become a nightmare: heavy weapons of war in the hands of Islamist terrorists from Boko Haram to ISIS. In Nigeria, this nightmare is now becoming a reality. “Unfortunately, the situation in the Sahel and the active war in Ukraine serve as important sources of weapons and fighters that strengthen the ranks of terrorists in the Lake Chad region,” Buhari said during a summit of leaders of the Lake Chad basin.
More and more weapons are endangering the region
Noting that “a significant portion of arms and ammunition destined for the war continues to enter the Lake Chad region and other parts of the Sahel,” he stressed that “these arms shipments to the region have increased the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which continue to threaten collective peace and security in the region”.
There is an urgent need to speed up cooperation between border control agencies and other security services to stop the circulation of all illegal weapons in the region, the Nigerian Presidency said on its Facebook account.
Anti-tank missiles, automatic weapons, ammunition, drones or even mines are sold on the Darknet. Thousands of weapon systems that Western allies are sending to Ukraine can be found online for sale.
It has never been easier to get hold of heavy NATO weapons than it is now, sent directly from Ukraine to any place in the world. A single seller listed has reportedly completed 32 successful transactions.
Of particular concern is the appearance of man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems manufactured by the United States and Sweden. Captured terrorists, Nigeria’s President added, have testified that MANPADS were bought in Ukraine and enter Africa via Poland and Romania.
Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari said weapons from Ukraine had “started to flow” into his country. He claims to have irrefutable evidence of this fact! pic.twitter.com/8JPRY5AX9q
— Geo_monitor (@colonelhomsi) December 27, 2022
Some 300 000 guns disappeared in just two years
“While the reaction to supplying more arms to Ukraine is very understandable, it would be wise to also consider the immediate and long-term security implications,” US-based think tank Stimson Center said in March about this development.
“We have seen time and time again how weapons aimed at aiding an ally in a conflict have found their way to the front lines in unforeseen battlefields. They often end up with groups that are at odds with US interests or those of civilians.”