The Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) was established in June 2005 to oversee the implementation of the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons which was signed on 21st April 2004.

Guns Know No Borders

The illegal accumulation and misuse of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), fuels violent crime, sustains conflict, abets terrorism, cattle rustling, poaching and other serious crimes which degrade the environment and delay development; with Africa being the most affected.

Gravely concerned by the proliferation of illicit arms, as stated in the Nairobi Declaration (2000); regional states agreed on a comprehensive cooperative response strategy; leading to the signing of the Nairobi Protocol (2004).

The Nairobi Protocol complements regional and international instruments on Small Arms Control including the United Nations Programme of Action (UNPoA) and Sustainable Development Goals (SGD 16).

RECSA Membership:

Republic of Burundi, Re-public of Djibouti, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, State of Eritrea, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Seychelles, Republic of South Sudan, Federal Republic of Somalia, and Republic of the Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Uganda.

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In, Within Member States

Collaboration and Partnerships


Council of Ministers

Technical Advisory Committee



Institutional development and strengthening

Support member states in Physical Security and Stockpile management

Adaptive research, public education and awareness

Mainstreaming of Monitoring & Evaluation and Special Interest Groups


Pillar one: Institutional development and strengthening

National Focal Points established in all 15 Member States and the Republic of Chad

National Action Plans on SALW developed in 10 Member States (Burundi, CAR Djibouti , Eritrea, RoC, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania & DRC) and for the Republic of Malawi

Supported harmonization of legislation on SALW in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia.

Developed guidelines and regional standards in the control of SALW including:

Best Practice Guidelines for the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration and Nairobi Protocol

Guidelines for establishment and functioning of National Institutions for management and control of Small Arms

Model SALW legislation for adoption by Member States

Best Practice Guidelines for Practical Disarmament

Manual on SALW research

Arms Marking

Resources mobilization for SALW programs

Collaborations and Partnerships:

Support to formation of AFRIPOL

Joint Taskforces established in the border regions of:

Equatorial Triangle (CAR, DRC, ROC)

Lake Tanganyika Corridor (Burundi, Tanzania, DRC)

Mano River Initiative (Mali, Liberia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire)

Support for Joint Law Enforcement Operations

USALAMA series - 4 operations supported in SARPCCO and EAPCCO regions

Pillar two: Enhancing Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) for Member States

70 Arms Marking Machines provided:

51 in RECSA Member States

19 in non-member states

Status of Arms Marking in the RECSA Region

USALAMA series

Facilitating Digital arms-records keeping

Installation and training on RSTS software in:

9 Member States

8 non-member states.

Enhancing Safe physical Storage for arms and weapons

2 armories constructed in Uganda and Rwanda

775 Steel Arms Boxes provided

Destruction of SALW: Over 400,000 firearms more than 2000 tons of Un-exploded Ordinances destroyed

PSSM training

180 officials trained on SALW control and management

6 Senior PSSM Trainers graduated in December 2017

10 junior PSSM Trainers to graduate in March 2018

Pool of instructors: 06 PSSM Senior Instructors and 10 PSSM Junior Instructors trained in partnership with MSAG "Train The Trainer Approach"

Pillar 3. Adaptive research, Public Education and Awareness 

Thematic research and baseline studies published including:

Studies on the nexus between SALW and: Cattle Rustling, Fragility, Poaching, and Armed violence

Status of the harmonization of national legislation with regional and international instruments on SALW

The Proliferation of Man-Portable air defense systems (MANPADS) in the region;

Synergies and complementarities of the ATT, UNPoA, Nairobi Protocol & Kinsasha Convention

Policy advisory, Advocacy and lobbying on SALW Management

Lobbying for ratification of the ATT in RECSA Member States

Civil Society mobilization for the ratification of SADC and COWAS Conventions (SADC Region, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea)

Support Public information and sensitization on SALW

Production of two documentaries on

PSSM: Keep the Safety on

Countering Illicit Firearms in Africa

Pillar 4. Mainstreaming Monitoring & Evaluation and Special Interests Groups in SALW Interventions

Monitoring and appraisal of SALW interventions in Member States

Regional SALW reporting tool developed

Lobbying for inclusion of special interest groups in SALW interventions.

Regional Gender policy developed


Developing a pool of regional PSSM trainers to take over from external facilitators by 2019

Build a PSSM Centre of Excellence in Rwanda

Establish RECSA Headquarters

Provision of Sheer machines for SALW destruction

Construction of armories

Up-scale Support to Civilian Disarmament

Public and Community awareness on SALW

Cross-border Communities dialogues

Adaptive action Research

Lobbying for ratification of the ATT

Expand partnerships and collaborations

Institutional support for SARCOM


"To coordinate action against Small Arms and Light Weapons proliferation in the Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa."


"a safe and secure sub-region in a peaceful continent free from arms proliferation"

Core Values

  • Flexibility
  • Gender Sensitivity
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Transparency

Strategic Priorities 2016-2020

Institutional Development and Strengthening

Physical Security and Stockpile Management

Adaptive research, Public Education and Awareness

Mainstreaming Monitoring & Evaluation and Special Interests Groups in SALW Interventions.