MAG in Sierra Leone

The problems

Why MAG is in Sierra Leone

Improving management of weapons and ammunition has become a priority for many states in the Sahel and West Africa region, which have amassed large stockpiles due to conflict, cross-border insecurity, and the prevalence of non-state armed groups.

Limited monitoring and control of government-controlled small arms and light weapons (SALW) and ammunition represents a significant threat to security and stability due to the high risk of diversion to the illicit market.

In particular, the porous borders of states in the region mean that poor management of legally-held stocks, including surplus and obsolete weapons, is a key risk regionally as well as on the local and national level.

Obsolete ammunition poses a further threat when incorrectly stored and can lead to accidental detonation and devastating impact on human life and vital infrastructure.

unsecured weapons

Unsecured weapons and munitions in the Sahel-West Africa region like this are at risk of falling into the wrong hands.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG

How MAG is helping in Sierra Leone

MAG is working in Sierra Leone as part of our regional arms management and destruction programme. AMD is primarily about reducing the risk and impact of devastating unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS), and the risk of weapons and munitions being diverted to the illicit arms trade. UEMS and diversion both come at an enormous and devastating human cost.

Our work in the country currently involves weapons cutting and assessments.


This aims to improve the safe and accountable destruction of weapons and small arms ammunition. Destruction methods ensure that all working parts of a weapon are put beyond use.

Weapons cutting in DRC

Weapons cutting, like this programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ensures that all working parts of a weapon are put beyond use.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG


Undertaken in full partnership with national authorities, these are key to MAG’s AMD work: an assessment team evaluates the condition of the infrastructure and its surroundings, the condition of the weapons and ammunition stockpiles, as well as the stockpile management procedures and processes in place.


 Arms Management and Destruction